Human rights organizations in the Palestinian Authority issued a condemnation of Hamas on Thursday following the execution of two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip convicted of collaborating with Israel.
The groups protested the fact that the two did not receive a fair legal process and noted that the act "was against Palestinian law which prohibits the execution of a death sentence without the authorization of the Palestinian president."
The statement, which was issued on behalf of six separate organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, noted that despite the gravity of the offences attributed to the two men, the death sentence constitutes a blunt violation of the right to life which is a basic right not to be violated even during times of emergency.
This punishment is neither deterring nor humane, is humiliating and does not serve the interest of rehabilitating the defendant and integrating him back into society, the groups said.
The B'Tselem group also condemned the execution and noted in a special statement, "The death sentence is immoral and violates any person's right to life. This punishment has no place in the law book, whatever the circumstances."
The organization's statement charged that 32 residents of the Gaza Strip suspected of collaborating with Israel were executed by Hamas during Operation Cast Lead. In those cases the suspects were not granted a trial. It was further noted that 14 Gaza Strip residents have been sentenced to death by military courts after being convicted of collaborating with Israel, treason and murder.
'Trial exhausted appeal possibilities'
However, Hamas was quick to deny the allegations. Ahmed Attala, head of the military legal system in the Strip, said: "The trial exhausted all possibilities of appeal and therefore there was no impediment to implementing the sentence."
After the executions Hamas published the allegations which led to the decision on a death sentence. It claimed that 37-year-old Muhammad Ismail confessed to marking the cars of wanted men, thus helping in their assassination, including that of a senior member of a Fatah-affiliated group.
He was also convicted of aiding IDF troops as they entered the Rafah region in order to dismantle explosives meant to target Israeli forces.
The second defendant, Nasr Abu Frayej, 34 confessed to being recruited by the Shin Bet and receiving money and a cellular phone while seeking an entry visa into Israel at the Erez Crossing.
Abu Frayej was convicted of assisting the IDF while entering the Gaza Strip and providing information on suspects approaching the border fence. It was further claimed that he was trained by the IDF inside Israeli territory in exchange for payments.