Hamas plans 13 public executions in Gaza Strip
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Hamas plans 13 public executions in Gaza Strip

Terror group intends to kill the 13 men, most convicted of murder connected to robberies, 'before a large crowd'

Armed Palestinian masked men push back a crowd of worshippers outside a mosque in Gaza City after Friday prayers on August 22, 2014, before executing 18 men for allegedly collaborating with Israel. (AFP)
Armed Palestinian masked men push back a crowd of worshippers outside a mosque in Gaza City after Friday prayers on August 22, 2014, before executing 18 men for allegedly collaborating with Israel. (AFP)

Authorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip are planning to carry out a series of public executions, the attorney general for the Palestinian enclave said on Sunday.

The terror group has carried out previous executions in Gaza, although rarely in public and mainly of people accused of collaborating with Israel. Sunday’s announcement involved those convicted of criminal offenses.

“Capital punishments will be implemented soon in Gaza,” attorney general Ismail Jaber told journalists. “I ask that they take place before a large crowd.”

Thirteen men, most convicted of murder connected to robberies, are currently awaiting execution, Hamas official Khalil al-Haya said on Friday at the mainly weekly Muslim prayers.

“The victims’ families have the right to demand that the punishments be implemented,” he said.

The families obtained rare permission on Sunday to stage a demonstration outside parliament, with dozens demanding that the executions be carried out.

The last public executions in Gaza were in 2014 during the last war with Israel, when a firing squad from Hamas’s military wing shot dead six men before Gaza City’s main mosque following prayers.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), nine death sentences were handed down in the Gaza Strip in 2015 and two in the West Bank, run by the Palestinian Authority.

So far this year, around 10 more have been handed down in Gaza.

Hamas fighters take part in an anti-Israel rally in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, February 26, 2016.(AFP / SAID KHATIB)
Hamas fighters take part in an anti-Israel rally in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, February 26, 2016.(AFP / SAID KHATIB)

Palestinian law allows the death penalty for collaborators, murderers and drug traffickers.

Of the more than 170 Palestinians sentenced to death since the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, around 30 have been executed, mostly in Gaza, according to the PCHR.

All execution orders must in theory be approved by PA President Mahmoud Abbas before they can be carried out, but Hamas no longer recognizes his legitimacy.

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