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    Palestinian Hamas masked gunmen display their military skills during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in Gaza City, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014

    Hamas Aims to Publicly Execute 13 in Gaza Strip

    © AP Photo / Khalil Hamra
    Middle East
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    The Palestinian organization Hamas will perform a series of executions ‘before a large crowd’ in the Gaza Strip, for the first time since 2014.

    The news came from Ismail Jaber, attorney general for the Palestinian enclave.

    “Capital punishments will be implemented soon in Gaza,” he told journalists on Sunday. “I ask that they take place before a large crowd.”

    According to Hamas official Khalil al-Haya, thirteen men, convicted for murders related to robberies, are currently awaiting the death penalty in the country.

    On Sunday, the relatives of those killed by the convicted gathered before Parliament to prompt authorities to accelerate executions, the Times of Israel reported.

    “The victims’ families have the right to demand that the punishments be implemented,” Khalil al-Haya said.

    The Gaza Strip is not new to the death penalty, which under Palestinian law can be applied to collaborators, murderers and drug traffickers. All decisions on the matter must, however, be ratified by the enclave’s president Mahmoud Abbas.

    Since 2007, when Hamas forcibly took control of the Gaza Strip area from Abbas, the group stopped asking permission for executions.

    Iron Dome system intercepts Gaza rockets aimed at central Israel
    © Flickr / Israel Defense Forces
    However, Hamas previously handed down capital punishment only to those who spied for Israel and did not perform those executions in public. One exception, during the 2014 Israeli-Palestinian war, saw Hamas’s military shoot seven dead in front of the Gaza City’s primary mosque after Friday prayers. The bodies of those executed were dragged through the city streets.

    The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), reported that nine people were sentenced to death in the Gaza Strip in 2015. That number is 10 for 2016 to date.

    Since the foundation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994 some 170 Palestinians have received capital punishment, but only 30 have been executed.

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    Tags:
    Israeli-Palestinian conflict, death penalty, execution, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Israel, Gaza Strip
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