Hamas executes senior commander over ′moral violations′ | News | DW | 07.02.2016
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Hamas executes senior commander over 'moral violations'

The military branch of Gaza's ruling organization has executed a top commander "because he violated rules and ethics." At least four Palestinians in Gaza have been sentenced to death for spying for Israel in 2016.

Hamas' paramilitary wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, on Sunday announced that it executed one of its senior commanders over "moral and behavioral violations" without going into details of what the violations were.

"The al-Qassam Brigades announced that the death penalty against its member Mahmoud Eshtawi has been applied today," the group said in a statement released Sunday.

Hamas' armed branch did not provide details into the reasons for the execution other than "the Brigades' military and Islamic judicial committee issued the sentence because he violated rules and ethics."

Eshtawi, who was detained in January 2015, reportedly supervised tunnels used to store the militant group's weapons.

Hamas has carried out executions in the Gaza Strip before, including in public squares, although Sunday's action was the first time the al-Qassam Brigades prescribed such a sentence for one of its own members.

In December 2015, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that nine death sentences were issued in the Gaza Strip in 2015, while in 2016, four death sentences were handed down to Gazans accused of spying for Israel.

Hamas seized power in 2007 after winning the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, which witnessed a violent internal conflict between the group and Fatah.

ls/sms (AFP, AP)