Hamas has announced a series of public executions that, if carried out, will make it a world leader in capital punishment per capita.
Thirteen men, most of them convicted of murder in connection with robbery, were sentenced to death, a Hamas official said during the weekly Muslim prayers on Friday.
“I ask that they (the executions) take place before a large crowd,” Hamas Attorney General Ismail Jaber was quoted as stating in media reports.
Hamas has executed people in the past for crimes such as collaborating with Israel. The most recent public execution was in 2014 after Operation Protective Edge, when the terrorist group that rules Gaza put fourteen men in front of a firing squad outside the main mosque in Gaza City.
If the executions go ahead as announced, Gaza’s execution rate relative to the size of its population will overtake that of Saudi Arabia’s, the British Telegraph reported.
Last year, Saudi Arabia, with a population of 31.5 million, executed 153 people. Gaza has a population of just 1.8 million. Saudi Arabia ranked third, after China and Iran, from 2007-12, according to data from Amnesty International.