Hamas Executes 18 Alleged Informers

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -

Gaza terrorists Friday gunned down 18 alleged spies for Israel in an apparent attempt to plug security breaches and deter others, a day after Israel killed three top Hamas military commanders in an airstrike likely guided by collaborators.

In one incident, masked gunmen lined up seven men, their heads covered by bags, along a wall outside a Gaza City mosque and shot them to death in front of hundreds of people, witnesses said. A note pinned on the wall said they had leaked information about the location of tunnels, homes of fighters and rockets that were later struck by Israel.

Hamas media said the shootings signaled the start of a new crackdown, under the rallying cry of “choking the necks of the collaborators.” It was the largest number of suspected informers killed in a single day under Hamas rule.

The Al Majd website, which is close to the Hamas security services, said suspects would now be dealt with “in the field,” rather than in the courts, in order to create deterrence. Hamas said it would not release the names of those killed because it wanted to protect the reputation of their families.

Friday’s killing marked the third time since the outbreak of the Gaza war six weeks ago that Hamas announced the killing of alleged collaborators.