GAZA: FIRING SQUAD EXECUTES TWO 'COLLABORATORS'
|Hamas gunmen speak at news conference in 2009
April 15, 2010: Hamas said it executed two Palestinians convicted by a Gaza military court of collaborating with Israel.
It was the first time that Hamas has carried out formal executions since the Islamist group seized control of the Gaza Strip three years ago from the rival Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas, who governs in the occupied West Bank.
A Hamas government official confirmed the executions after the bodies of two men arrived at a Gaza hospital but did not say how they were carried out.
The Palestinian rights group al-Mizan identified the executed men as Mohammed Ismail and Nasser Abu Freh.
London-based Amnesty International had urged Hamas not to carry out several death sentences against Palestinians convicted of murder and of collaborating with Israel.
Amnesty said proceedings in Hamas military courts do not meet international legal standards.
Under Palestinian law, execution orders can be carried out only with presidential approval. But Hamas does not recognize Abbas's presidency, and the executions represented a further challenge by the group to his authority.
Abbas has refrained from approving death sentences against Palestinians convicted of capital offences in the West Bank.
Amnesty said the last execution in Gaza took place in 2005. (Sources: Reuters, Afp, 15/04/2010)