As fighting commences in Gaza following the week-long truce and funeral processions for the family of a Hamas military leader, Hamas militants have publicly executed 18 Palestinians for allegedly spying for Israel.
Seven of those executed were lined up in front of a crowd of hundreds outside of the Omari mosque on Palestine Square, with bags over their heads and their hands bound. Each was shot with automatic rifles for those present to see. The other 11 were executed by militants at an abandoned police station in Gaza, according to YNetNews.
One eye-witness to the Omari mosque executions told reporters, according to the Independent, the executioners told the crowd those who were executed, “had sold their souls to the enemy for a cheap price.”
The names of those killed were not released to the public, as Hamas said they wanted to protect the families of those killed.
These killings are reportedly the beginning of new crackdowns on Israeli collaborators in Gaza. According to ABC News, rally cries for people to “[choke] the neck of the collaborators,” have also been heard throughout the area.
Hamas security services made a post to their website, Al Majd, saying from now on, people who are suspected of being spies would not have a court hearing to determine their innocence or guilt. Rather, these individuals will be dealt with “in the field,” meaning soldiers will decide the fate of those who are accused of being spies.
This same site said those who had been executed had “confessed” to their alleged crimes against the people of Palestine. Their crimes included reporting on the movement of military commanders and providing the locations of resistance fighters throughout Gaza.
Another pro-Hamas website made a post following the executions saying, “The resistance has begun an operation called ‘strangling the necks’, targeting collaborators who aid the (Israeli) occupation, kill our people and destroy houses.”
These executions come a day after Israeli forces tracked down and killed three high-ranking Hamas commanders, according to the Mirror.