Hamas to launch crackdown on Israeli collaborators
Published Monday 04/03/2013 (updated) 05/03/2013 17:03
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas government in Gaza will launch a campaign this week to crack down on collaborators with Israel, a senior ministry official said Monday.
"This week we are going to launch an intensive campaign to catch all agents collaborating with Israel in the Gaza Strip," Muhammad Lafi, an interior ministry official, said.
The number of people providing information to Israel has decreased over recent years due to initiatives by Hamas to uncover collaborators and offer rehabilitation programs to those who confess their crimes, Lafi said.
"We monitor the tools and techniques used by the Israeli occupation to recruit collaborators and we are working to dismantle them," the senior Hamas official said.
The government is in contact with people across the Gaza Strip to help clamp down on people passing information to Israel's security services.
Palestinian collaboration with Israel is an extremely sensitive issue in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with information passed to Israel's security services often being used to make arrests and assassinate political and militant figures.
Gaza courts have handed out 30 death sentences since 2007, many of them to people convicted of helping Israeli security forces.
The last high-profile execution of collaborators took place in Gaza during Israel's assault on the coastal territory last November.
Gunmen shot dead six alleged collaborators and chained the body of one of them to a motorcycle before dragging it throughout the main streets of Gaza City.
A Ma'an review of publicly available records as well as interviews with experts in Gaza showed that all of the men had been in the custody of the Hamas government for months and in one case years before Israel launched its "Pillar of Cloud" operation, and were not caught "red-handed" as security officials had said at the time.