Hamas killed 11 Gazans suspected of informing for Israel on Friday, a Gaza security official said. The killings of the 11 were also reported by al-Rai and al-Majd, two websites linked to Hamas.
The execution spree followed Thursday’s assassinations of three of Hamas’s most senior commanders in an Israeli air strike. Israel also attempted to assassinate Hamas military chief Muhammad Deif on Tuesday, and may have succeeded: Israeli officials have asserted he’s likely dead, but other reports indicate he may have survived.
Israel’s intelligence services are believed to rely on informers to locate the whereabouts of Hamas leaders.
According toThe Times of Israel, the security official said the 11 suspected informers were killed early Friday at the Gaza City police headquarters. He said the 11 Gaza men had previously been sentenced by Gaza courts, though he did not elaborate as to what kind of judicial process may have been followed. Hamas has sentenced numerous individuals to death after only summary proceedings.
Hamas TV reported that the number of those executed actually consisted of 18 men. Six of those executed were shot dead in front of a mosque by men in Hamas military uniforms, according to reports by Israel National News.
A Hamas-linked newspaper reported an additional three executions on Thursday as part of a crackdown following the assassinations, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported, citing the al-Majd website.
The report said that the three men were tried under “revolutionary procedures.” The website also declared a “zero-tolerance” policy toward those who “collaborate” with Israel.
Last month, at the height of the Israel Defense Forces’ Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian media source reported that Hamas had killed over 30 suspected informants for Israel.
Unnamed Palestinian security sources in Gaza told Palestine Press News Agency that Hamas had apprehended dozens of suspected spies in the northern neighborhood of Shejaiya — which saw heavy fighting with the Israeli military during July — and summarily executed them following a short investigation.