A Hamas “military” court in the Gaza Strip has sentenced three Palestinian men to death and given life in prison to another on charges of collaboration with Israel.
The court rejected the defendants’ appeals on Tuesday, allowing the executions to proceed soon. Two of the men will be hanged while the third will be executed by firing squad.
They were found guilty of “communicating with hostile foreign entities,” with the sentences in accordance with Article 131 of the Palestinian Penal Code of 1979.
The four men were not named.
One is a 67-year-old resident of the northern Gaza Strip allegedly recruited by Israeli security authorities in 1997 while passing through the Erez border crossing. According to the indictment, he agreed to work for Israeli in exchange for a work permit. He then supposedly provided intelligence information on Hamas to Israel, which led to targeted attacks on Hamas sites and the killings of operatives.
Human rights organizations have criticized Hamas in the past for imposing death sentences on Palestinians.
The United Nations last September denounced as a violation of international law Hamas’s execution of five Gazans.
“We condemn the execution of five prisoners in Gaza and urge the de facto authorities in Gaza to establish a moratorium on all executions,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the U.N.’s human-rights commissioner, in a statement.
“Having ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as a matter of international law, Palestine is obliged to abolish executions,” she said.