Hamas Sentences Four Gazans to Death for Spying for Israel

Three of the defendants were convicted in absentia after reportedly fleeing to Israel.

FILE PHOTO: Hamas militants grab a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel before being executed in Gaza City August 22, 2014.

A Hamas military court in Gaza City sentenced four Gazans to death on Wednesday for spying for allegedly Israel, according to a court statement.

One of the four, a man in his early 20s from the Zeitoun area south of Gaza City, was present at the court-martial, a court source said. The other three, who fled Gaza a few years ago and are reportedly in Israel, were convicted in absentia.

The source said the four were part of a larger cell that provided Israel with information about the activities of Palestinian militants, which was allegedly used to plan assassinations. They were also convicted of giving militants malfunctioning weapons that caused injuries and serious damage.

The court statement said the defendant who attended the trial was arrested about a year ago during an attempt to attack Hamas operatives. The defendants have the right to appeal within 30 days.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 158 people have been sentenced to death in the Palestinian territories since 1994, 130 in the Gaza Strip and the rest in the West Bank. Thirty-two people have been executed since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, 30 of them in the Gaza Strip. Since 2007, 19 people have been executed without the required approval of the Palestinian president.