Gaza
General view of Gaza city May 29, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Gaza: Gaza’s ruling Hamas executed five Palestinians on Sunday, two of them on charges of espionage for Israel that dated back to 2015 and 2009, the enclave’s Hamas-run Interior Ministry said.

The dawn executions, by hanging or firing squad, were the first in the Palestinian territories since 2017.

The ministry statement did not provide full names for any of the condemned men. It said three had been convicted of murder.

The two convicted spies, aged 44 and 54, had given Israel information that led to the killing of Palestinians, it said.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, which oversees the country’s intelligence services, declined comment.

“The execution was carried out after the conclusion of all legal procedures. The rulings had been final, with implementation mandatory, after all of the convicted were accorded full rights to defend themselves,” the statement said.

Palestinian and international human rights groups have condemned the death penalty and urged Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-government in the West Bank, to end the practice.

Since Hamas took control of Gaza, its courts have sentenced around 180 Palestinians to death, and have executed 33 so far, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said.