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Hamas executes two 'collaborators' with Israel in Gaza

Authorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Thursday executed two Palestinians for allegedly collaborating with Israel, the territory's interior ministry said.

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Authorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Thursday executed two Palestinians for allegedly collaborating with Israel, the territory's interior ministry said.

"Two collaborators with the Israeli occupation, condemned to death for having given information leading to the martyrdom of two citizens, have been executed," a spokesman told AFP.

He said one of the men, aged 40 and identified by the initials ZR, was shot and the other, AK, aged 30, was hanged in a different location.

The last execution in Gaza, in October, was of a man found guilty of murder.

Israeli security forces use Palestinian informers to thwart attacks and assist in the assassination of top militants. Most Palestinians view them as traitors.

Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel, murder and drug trafficking are all punishable by death.

All execution orders must be approved by the Palestinian president before they can be carried out, but Hamas no longer recognises the legitimacy of Mahmud Abbas, whose four-year term ended in 2009.

Since the September 2000 outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising, dozens of Palestinians accused of collaborating have been condemned by martial courts or killed by militants in both Gaza and the West Bank, which is governed by Abbas's Palestinian Authority.

The European Union on Wednesday condemned a death sentence passed last week in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis on a man condemned for murder.

The European Union "considers capital punishment to be cruel and inhuman, that it fails to provide deterrence to criminal behaviour, and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity."

"The de facto authorities in Gaza must refrain from carrying out any executions of prisoners and comply with the moratorium on executions put in place by the Palestinian Authority, pending abolition of the death penalty in line with the global trend," it said.

In June Amnesty International appealed to people to mail Hamas in protest at the hanging of two alleged collaborators and to appeal against other pending executions.

The London-based rights organisation called on people to "write immediately in Arabic or your own language condemning the executions... as applications of the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment."

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