Palestinian human rights groups have condemned the execution by authorities in the Gaza Strip of three civilians accused of collaborating with Israel.
According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the Hamas-controlled interior ministry in Gaza hanged the men, aged 55, 42 and 32, on Thursday morning. They have been identified only by initials.
The 55-year-old was from Khan Younis in southern Gaza and had been detained since 2011, according to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. He had originally been sentenced to 15 years in prison, but a military court later changed the sentence to death.
The 42-year-old was accused of passing information about Palestinian resistance factions to Israeli occupation forces. He had also been in detention since 2011. The 32-year-old was identified as a resident of Gaza City.
PCHR called the executions “a clear violation” of the Palestinian Basic Law, which requires death sentences to be ratified by the president of the Palestinian Authority.
The current incumbent, Mahmoud Abbas, has not ratified a death sentence in a decade. In total, 38 persons have been executed since the Palestinian Authority was established in the early 1990s, 36 of them in the Gaza Strip, according to PCHR. Twenty-five executions were carried out without ratification from the PA leader.
The group also stated that “torture is systematically used against those convicted of collaboration while being interrogated.”
Al Mezan reaffirmed its condemnation of the death penalty, stating that it is ineffective and “violates the human right to life.”