Hamas executes two Palestinians in Gaza
Hamas has executed two Palestinians convicted by a Gaza military court of collaborating with Israel, a pro-Hamas website and a Palestinian human rights group said on Thursday, Reuters reported
It was the first time that Hamas has carried out executions since the Islamist group seized control of the Gaza Strip three years ago from the rival Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas, who governs in the occupied West Bank.
A pro-Hamas website, announcing the executions, did not say how they were carried out. The Palestinian rights group al-Mizan identified the men as Mohammed Ismail and Nasser Abu Freh. Their bodies were taken to Gaza's Shifa hospital overnight.
Both were sentenced to death by a Hamas-run military court which found they had collaborated with Israel.
London-based Amnesty International had urged Hamas not to carry out several death sentences against Palestinians convicted of collaborating with Israel and murder.
Amnesty said proceedings in Hamas military courts do not meet international legal standards.
Under Palestinian law, execution orders can be carried out only with presidential approval. But Hamas does not recognise Abbas's presidency, and the executions represented a further challenge by the group to his authority.
Abbas has refrained from approving death sentences against Palestinians convicted of capital offences in the West Bank.
Amnesty said the last execution in Gaza took place in 2005