Hamas executed 18 alleged Israeli collaborators today, seven of them in public, Reuters reports:
In the public execution, militants wearing masks and dressed in black gunned down the suspects, whose faces were covered and hands bound, as worshippers emerged from the Omari mosque on Palestine Square, one of Gaza’s busiest districts.
“The resistance has begun an operation called ‘strangling the necks’, targeting collaborators who aid the (Israeli) occupation, kill our people and destroy houses,” a pro-Hamas website said.
The Gaza City–based Palestinian Center for Human Rights denounced the apparently extrajudicial killings, which purportedly punished Gazans who had provided Israel information about the locations of militant fighters, tunnels, and weapons stockpiles. An official at the center told the New York Times that the executions may have been provoked by targeted Israeli airstrikes that killed three top Hamas commanders on Thursday.
“Gaza’s Interior Ministry, which handles judicial and security matters, declined to address the reported executions,” the Times reports.