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From the field

Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip executed Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel

It has been reported in the media that, since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, members of Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip have killed seven Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel. These reports state that one man was shot to death on Friday, 16 November 2012, and the other six were shot to death on Tuesday, 20 November 2012. The body of one man was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets. Photographs of the bodies, some of which had been mutilated, were published in the press.

International law categorically prohibits the extrajudicial killing of civilians – regardless of the allegations against them. Although media reports state that four of the men killed were prisoners convicted in Palestinian military courts of collaboration with Israel and sentenced to death, it does not appear that their killing was an implementation of the death sentences. Moreover, B'Tselem, which opposes capital punishment in any case, has already cautioned that these military courts do not uphold defendants' rights and violate their right for due process. Therefore, it cannot be argued that they had been given a fair trial.