Hamas executes three over assassination of top commander
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has executed three men convicted of assassinating one of its high-ranking military commanders in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
Two men were hanged in Gaza City on Thursday for killing 38-year-old military commander Mazen Fuqahaa in March, while a third was executed by a firing squad.
The executions came after a tribunal on Sunday found Ashraf Abu Leila, the prime suspect in the assassination of Fuqahaa, guilty of premeditated murder, treason and conspiracy with hostile foreign parties, and sentenced him to death by hanging.
The others were identified as Hisham al-Aloul, 44, who was also sentenced to death by hanging, and Abdallah al-Nashar, who was to face the firing squad. They were all convicted of collaborating with the Israeli regime.
Aloul was convicted of conspiracy and treason as well as involvement in the killing of the senior Hamas commander.
Nashar was found guilty of treason and conspiracy, and leaking information about Fuqahaa’s movements and his hangouts.
Judicial sources had earlier said that Sunday’s verdicts were final and could not be appealed according to the rules of the Military Field Tribunal.
Fuqahaa was shot in the head four times at the entrance to a residence in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City on March 24. The assassination was carried out with a gun equipped with a silencer.
Palestinian security forces in the besieged enclave had detained Fuqahaa’s assassin in early May.
Speaking at a press conference in Gaza City on May 11, the new chief of Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh stated that a fair and appropriate punishment would be handed out on the basis of the movement’s judicial principles, and in honor of Fuqahaa, all Palestinian martyrs as well as all prisoners in Israeli jails.
The Hamas chief stressed that the Israeli regime was behind the criminal act.
“The Israeli occupation is the entity that gave orders regarding Fuqahaa’s assassination. The killer has confessed to the crime and spelled the assassination out in details,” Haniyeh pointed out.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
Israel has also launched several wars on the enclave, the last of which began in early July 2014. The Israeli military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.