Hamas holds quick-fire trial for suspects in terror chief assassination
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Hamas holds quick-fire trial for suspects in terror chief assassination

Verdict on three men suspected of killing Mazen Faqha to be delivered over weekend, but source says they will be given the death penalty

The body of Hamas terrorist Mazen Faqha is carried by members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, during his funeral in Gaza city on March 25, 2017. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
The body of Hamas terrorist Mazen Faqha is carried by members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, during his funeral in Gaza city on March 25, 2017. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

A military court in Gaza on Wednesday concluded the trial of three men accused of assassinating a Hamas terror mastermind and will deliver its verdict at the weekend, an official said.

The trial of the alleged killers of Mazen Faqha opened on Monday and the court held its fourth and final session on Wednesday.

The chief suspect, Ashraf Abu Leila, 38, and two accomplices are charged with shooting dead Faqha, a senior Hamas figure, next to his home on March 24.

“The verdict will be delivered on Sunday,” Hamas-run interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bozum told AFP. “It will be final and under Palestinian law the accused have no right of appeal.”

“The sentence will be the death penalty and execution will be carried out as quickly as possible,” said a source close to the military court system.

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Hamas terror group, announces the arrest of the alleged killer of Hamas terror orchestrator Mazen Faqha, who was shot dead on March 24, 2017 near his home in Gaza City. Faqha's wife is alongside Haniyeh. Next to her is Hamas's Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar(AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)
Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Hamas terror group, announces the arrest of the alleged killer of Hamas terror orchestrator Mazen Faqha, who was shot dead on March 24, 2017 near his home in Gaza City. Faqha’s wife is alongside Haniyeh. Next to her is Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar(AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED)

Hamas has accused the men of colluding with Israel to set up and commit the murder.

In the wake of the killing it launched a large-scale campaign against all “collaborators” in which it said it made 45 arrests.

Hamas hanged three men on April 6, convicted by the military court of past acts of “treason and collaborating” unconnected to Faqha’s slaying.

The assassination in the middle of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip shocked the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip.

Hamas immediately blamed Israel, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, and implemented strict border restrictions on those seeking to leave the Palestinian enclave.

Abu Leila was arrested about two weeks after the assassination and his detention was publicly announced by Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh last Thursday.

Mazen Faqha upon his release after the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011. (screen capture: Twitter)
Mazen Faqha upon his release after the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011. (screen capture: Twitter)

Faqha had been in charge of forming terror cells for Hamas in the West Bank.

He had spent years in an Israeli jail for orchestrating a suicide bombing in which 9 Israelis were killed before being released as part of a 2011 prisoner exchange deal.

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