A senior United Nations official condemned the Gaza Strip’s terrorist rulers Hamas Monday for issuing a series of death sentences a day earlier.
A military court in Gaza sentenced seven people to death by hanging on Sunday for “collaboration” with Israel, the coastal enclave’s Hamas-run interior ministry said.
The court also sentenced seven others to “life imprisonment with hard labor,” which in Gaza amounts to 25 years, the ministry said in a statement.
“Yesterday, the military appeal court in Gaza upheld 6 death sentences and converted a life sentence to one of death – all against civilians,” tweeted Lynn Hastings, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the West Bank and Gaza.
She noted that nine other death sentences have been upheld this year by the terror group and that “authorities in Gaza have executed 5 of the 28 men sentenced to death since 2022.”
“The death sentence should be abolished as per international obligations and rights to a fair trial of all persons being prosecuted be guaranteed,” she said.
Yesterday, the military appeal court in #Gaza upheld 6 death sentences and converted a life sentence to one of death – all against civilians. In addition to these sentences, in 2023, the courts of appeal and cassation have upheld 9 other death sentences. In 2022, 21 death…
— Lynn Hastings (@LynnHastings) August 7, 2023
In its ruling, the Hamas-controlled court said that those sentenced to death had provided information to Israel on terror groups in Gaza — including names, phone numbers, addresses and weapons caches — in return for money, the Maan News agency reported. One of the defendants was allegedly given a permit to work in Israel in return for information he provided.
Hamas controls Gaza, and the military court there has regularly issued death sentences for people found guilty of “collaboration” with Israel.
Under Palestinian law, a death sentence requires the approval of the president of the Palestinian Authority, which is headquartered in the West Bank.
But since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip from Palestinian Authority forces in a bloody coup in 2007, it has repeatedly ignored this, and last September it executed two Palestinians for “collaboration” with Israel as well as three others for murder.
In April, two people were sentenced to death and four others were given life sentences on the same charges of collaborating with Israel.
At least 17 death sentences were issued in 2022 in the Gaza Strip.
Israel and terror groups in Gaza including Hamas have fought several wars over the past 15 years.
Some 2.3 million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli-led blockade since Hamas rose to power. Israel says the blockade, which is also enforced by Egypt, is needed to prevent terror groups from smuggling weapons into Gaza. Goods arrive in Israel where they are reviewed and then trucked into the enclave.
AFP contributed to this report.