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Gaza court sentences six to death for 'collaborating' with Israel

AFP  |  Gaza City(Palestinian Territories) 

A military court in the Hamas-run Strip on Monday sentenced six people, including a woman, to death for "collaborating" with Israel, authorities said.

In total 14 people were sentenced for "collaborating with the occupation," with five sentenced to be hanged and one shot, the interior ministry in said.

Eight others were sentenced to hard labour ranging from six to 15 years.

The rulings came after eight people were killed when an Israeli special forces operation in was uncovered on November 11, leading to a vicious firefight.

fired hundreds of rockets at in response, with the Jewish state striking dozens of targets in Gaza before a November 13 ceasefire agreement.

The six sentenced to death Monday were not directly related to the flareup, officials said.

Iyad al-Bozum, the of the interior ministry in Gaza, told AFP they were linked "to a communications and eavesdropping device planted by the (Israeli) occupation".

Six members were killed when the device apparently exploded after detection near in central Gaza in May.

The six condemned to death on Monday ranged in age from 29 to 55 and had each allegedly been working with for several years.

Among those sentenced to hang was a woman living inside Israel, named as Amal Mahmoud, 55.

She was sentenced in absentia and is alleged to have encouraged her nephew in Gaza to collaborate with Israeli intelligence, according to the interior ministry.

Bozum hailed the rulings as a "clear message" to those who would cooperate with

"Collaborators must realise the (Israeli) occupation will not be able to protect them," he told a conference.

The verdicts drew condemnation from

"Rushing to sentence people to death smacks of militia rule, not the rule of law," said Omar Shakir, the watchdog's for and the Palestinian territories.

"The death penalty is a barbaric practice and always wrong, no matter the circumstance," he told AFP.

It was not clear when the executions of those in custody would take place.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 28 executions have been carried out in Gaza since seized control of the coastal enclave in 2007 from rival faction

In May 2017, Hamas security forces invited journalists to attend the hanging in of three men convicted over the assassination of a of the Islamist movement.

During the 2014 war with Israel, a firing squad from Hamas's armed wing killed six men accused of collaborating with the Jewish state.

Hamas and its allies have fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and the has been under an Israeli blockade for a decade.

Israel says the measure is necessary to isolate Hamas and prevent it from obtaining weapons, though critics say it amounts to collective punishment of the territory's two million residents.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 03 2018. 21:05 IST