Hamas authorities execute three as death penalty resumes
May 31, Jerusalem: Three people convicted of murder have been executed in the Gaza Strip, in a move condemned by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
The Islamist Hamas movement, said in a statement that the men were shot or hanged on Tuesday after appeals were exhausted, officials from Gaza's de facto rulers.
The execution had been attended by the families of the murder victims, the attorney general and representatives of Palestinian factions.
Hamas did not seek the approval of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as required under Palestinian law. It underscores the continuing divisions between the main Palestinian factions.
Hamas and President Abbas' Fatah party signed a unity deal in 2014 designed to end a seven-year split which saw the West Bank and the Gaza Strip governed by rival administrations, reports said.
However, the agreement has never been properly implemented, leaving Hamas still effectively in charge of the coastal territory.
Palestinian Authority attorney general Ahmed Brak told Reuters news agency that "carrying out the executions represents a flagrant violation of the Palestinian basic law", according to which the president must ratify death sentences.
According to Human Rights Watch, more than 40 people have been put to death in Gaza since 2007, including 23 suspected collaborators during the 2014 war with Israel.
Most of those executed were convicted in military courts or executed summarily, without a judicial ruling, it said.
The Oslo Times