Hamas executes two Palestinians convicted of spying for Israel

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Two Palestinians found guilty of spying for Israel over a decade were executed by Hamas on Saturday, the interior ministry of the Islamist movement’s government in Gaza said.

The executions are the first since the end of a month-long amnesty for informants in April, according to Reuters news agency.

A military court in Gaza had sentenced the two to “death by hanging after the tribunal accused them of charges ranging from collaborating with a hostile foreign entity,” to involvement in “killing and espionage for 10 years,” the statement said, according to AFP news agency.

A total of 16 Palestinians have been executed in Gaza for spying since Hamas seized the territory in 2007, Reuters reports.

While human rights activists say such executions violate Palestinian law, which stipulate that any cases of this sort must be reviewed by President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas does not recognize Abbas as having authority in Gaza.

Hamas, which rejects any recognition of Israel as a legitimate state, says the executions are aimed at discouraging Palestinians from impoverished Gaza selling Israel information such as the whereabouts of top militants or weapons depots.

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