by: Jo Sarah Stanford
Wednesday, 9 January 2019 | Forty-five Palestinians have been arrested in the Gaza Strip after Hamas accused them of spying and “collaborating with Israel.”
According to the terror group ruling the coastal enclave, the arrested Palestinians stand guilty of aiding Israel during a series of cross-border violent incidents in November last year. Hamas is notorious for dealing harshly for those it believes to be working with Israel and these alleged “collaborators” face the very real threat of execution.
On November 11, 2018, undercover Israeli special forces entered the Gaza Strip for what Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot hailed as “a very meaningful operation to Israel’s security.” The Israelis were discovered, however, leading to a gun battle that killed an Israeli lieutenant-colonel and seven Hamas terrorists.
What followed was the worst violence on the Israel–Gaza border since the 2014 war, with Hamas terrorists firing almost 500 rockets into southern Israel over a 48-hour period. The rockets injured 27 Israelis and killed a Palestinian man living in Israel. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) responded by striking 150 terrorist targets within the Gaza Strip. Seven Palestinians, believed to be Hamas members, were killed in the strikes.
Since the Israeli operation, Hamas officials have been trying to piece together the details of the event. According to an interior spokesman for the terror group, Israel allegedly had inside help from Palestinians in the Strip. “The security services were able to arrest 45 agents after the security incident east of Khan Yunis last November and they are under investigation,” the spokesman said in a statement, reported the Times of Israel.
Hamas officials claim Israeli intelligence recruited these “agents” using social media and phone calls, allegedly blackmailing them to become informants.
“Collaborating with Israel” carries a severe punishment in Gaza and within the Palestinian Authority [PA] controlled areas of Israel. However, “collaborating” has a broad definition and includes actions as simple as interactions with Israelis.
In December last year, Hamas sentenced six people to death for “collaborating,” while the PA recently sentenced US citizen Issam Akel to life in prison for selling a house to a Jew. Palestinians deem this “crime” as high treason. It also carries the death penalty.
Since 2007, there have been 28 executions in Gaza under Hamas rule, the Times of Israel reported.
Posted on January 9, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 9, 2019)
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