Hamas gunmen in Gaza on Friday killed 18 Palestinians who were thought to have worked with Israel. The execution came just one day after Israeli soldiers killed three Hamas commanders.
Seven of the Palestinians were killed in front of worshippers at the Omari mosque in Palestine Square. It is reported that this is the first public execution in the enclave since the 1990s. The other 11 Palestinians were killed at an abandoned police station near Gaza City.
"The resistance has begun an operation called 'strangling the necks', targeting collaborators who aid the (Israeli) occupation, kill our people and destroy houses," said Al-Majd, a website run by Hamas's internal security service.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights responded to the killings: “We demand the Palestinian National Authority and the resistance (Palestinian armed factions) to intervene to stop these extra-judicial executions, no matter what the reasons and motives are," said Raji al-Surani, the chairman of the Center for Human Rights.
The battle raged on this week after a 10-day ceasefire fell through earlier in the week. Friday, Israel launched more than 25 air strikes into Gaza. Four people were killed. Gaza launched about 60 rockets into Israel, wounding about five people.
More than 2,000 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting so far. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have also been killed in the violence.
Publication date: August 22, 2014