Hamas sentences three to death for working with Israel, drug trade

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The Islamist movement Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip said Tuesday it had sentenced three people to death, two of them for collaborating with its enemy Israel.

The Hamas military court said recent rulings “included three death sentences, two of them against collaborators with the occupation, and the third against a drug dealer.”

The court also ruled on 11 other cases involving the same charges. All were handed jail terms ranging from four years to life, except for one suspect whose drug trafficking charge was dropped.

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Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007 and has ruled it since, while Israel has imposed a blockade on the territory.

Since then, Hamas and Israel have fought four wars, in 2008, 2012, 2014 and this year.

Previously, Hamas announced in late October it had sentenced six Palestinian “informants” to death for collaborating with Israel.

The Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has called for a moratorium on capital punishment in the enclave, saying it was “gravely concerned about the incessant issuance of death sentences by the military judiciary.”

Hamas said Tuesday it had “fulfilled all legal procedures” and granted the convicts their full rights.

Palestinian law requires approval from Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas for the death penalty, but Hamas in Gaza has carried out a number of executions without seeking his permission.

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