Hamas gunmen on Tuesday summarily executed six alleged “collaborators” with Israel in the Sheik Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City, the second such incident in the past week, according to journalists in the Gaza Strip.
According to Hamas’s al-Aqsa radio, the alleged collaborators with Israel “were caught red-handed” in possession of “hi-tech equipment and filming equipment to take footage of positions.” The men were shot in the street, eyewitnesses and foreign journalists said.
One Gaza resident reacted to the incident on Twitter, saying that “extreme circumstances call for extreme measures.”
An Associated Press reporter saw a mob surrounding five of the bloodied corpses shortly after the killing. Some in the crowd stomped and spat on the bodies. A sixth corpse was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets as people screamed, “Spy! Spy!”
The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, claimed responsibility in a large handwritten note attached to a nearby electricity pole. Hamas said the six were killed because they gave Israel information about fighters and rocket launching sites.
Witnesses said a van stopped in the intersection, and four masked men pushed the six suspected informers out of the vehicle. Salim Mahmoud, 18, said the gunmen ordered the six to lie face down in the street and then shot them dead. Another witness, 13-year-old Mokhmen al-Gazhali, said the informers were killed one by one, as he mimicked the sound of gunfire.
They said only a few people were in the street at first — most Gazans have been staying indoors because of the Israeli airstrikes — but the crowd quickly grew after the killings. Eventually several hundred men pushed and shoved to get a close look at the bodies, lying in a jumble on the ground. One man spit at the corpses, another kicked the head of one of the dead men.
In a public display on Friday, Hamas men shot Ashraf Ouaida, another suspected Israeli collaborator, three times in the back of the head in the middle of the street in Gaza City. They then “had a poster hung around his neck accusing him of cooperating with the Israelis in the killing of 15 Palestinian leaders,” according to The New York Times. They left the body for a quarter of an hour, until an ambulance was allowed to take the man’s remains away.