Report: Hamas Shoots Protesters, Executes Alleged Spies
Around 20 Gaza residents have allegedly been shot by Hamas fighters for protesting against the Islamist resistance group, while more than 30 Palestinians suspected of collaborating with or spying for Israel have also reportedly been shot.
The Jerusalem Post cites Palestinian media reports in which Hamas claims it detected, investigated and executed spies in the obliterated Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.
Undercover agents from Hamas’ armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam, have reportedly been monitoring the activities of suspected informants working for Israel.
The Times of Israel reports many of the suspected spies were caught with weapons, mobile phones and SIM cards from Israeli telecom companies.
Last week, the Palestinian daily al-Quds reported that collaborators were using “special signals” to communicate with Israeli forces and coordinate Israel Defense Forces (IDF) strikes on homes where Hamas militants presumably lived.
Israeli forces have been attacking homes, schools, hospitals and other medical facilities, mosques, playgrounds and other civilian infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge, the 23-day offensive targeting Hamas and other Palestinian resistance fighters who have launched thousands of rockets and mortar rounds into Israel. More than 1,300 Palestinians, most of them innocent civilians, have been killed, as have two Israeli civilians, one Thai farmer and 53 Israeli troops.
The United Nations has called Israeli actions possible war crimes, with the UN Human Rights Council voting 29-1 to investigate. The United States cast the lone dissenting vote.
Israel accuses Hamas of operating in densely populated areas and of hiding behind civilians. UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency in Gaza, has found rockets in at least two of its schools there, condemning their placement as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Hamas has threatened dire consequences for any Palestinians caught collaborating with Israel. Internal Security Agency spokesman Iyad al-Bozom wrote on Facebook that “any betrayal or cowardly act against our people” would result in “the harshest punishment under Palestinian law.”
“The eyes of the Internal Security Agency are dispersed throughout the Gaza Strip to maintain security and protect the home front,” warned al-Bozom.
Hamas is the democratically elected government of Gaza. It is also considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Egypt and Jordan. But many Arab states and other nations, including China, Russia and Turkey, do not consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization. Many Arabs and others view Hamas as a legitimate resistance force fighting against Israeli occupation and economic oppression.
It would not be the first time that Hamas has executed suspected spies and collaborators. In May, it killed two men suspected of providing information to Israel that was used to target Palestinian militants.
In November 2012, masked Hamas gunmen screaming “spy” shot dead six suspected collaborators and then desecrated their bodies. One of the dead men was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets of Gaza City.
Hamas has also offered amnesties to Israeli spies who confess and repent.