Hamas Offers Israel Collaborators Temporary Amnesty

Week-long campaign offers reprieve from typically harsh punishment for working with Israel in exchange for apology and information.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip is this week undertaking a new amnesty campaign for collaborators with Israel.

"The security services have given an explicit commitment not to harm anyone who takes the initiative to express remorse and they will not even be arrested other than for a series of meetings in total secrecy in exchange for information on how they were recruited and what information they have," Mohammed Lafi, who is thought to be one of the senior domestic security officials in the Gaza Strip, recently told the Palestinian Ma'an news agency.

This is not the first such effort by Hamas. In 2010, attempts were made to curb the number of Gazans working with Israeli authorities by granting amnesty to those who turned themselves in, expressed remorse for their deeds and agreed to meet with members of the security forces.

The number of collaborators in Gaza has declined for two reasons, Lafi said in the interview. The first, he said, is the deterrent effect of the iron-fisted punishment meted out to them, and the second is the opportunity for them to turn themselves in and repent for their deeds.

A collaborator who seeks to express regret at what he has done can approach any public figure, whether a member of parliament, a university lecturer or a sheikh at a mosque, Lafi explained. They in turn will refer the person to the security authorities for an initial investigation to examine the person's credibility.

Palestinian gunmen drag the body of a suspected collaborator through the streets of Gaza City last year.Credit: Reuters

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