Two Palestinians Condemned to Death for \'Collaboration\' with Israel
A Palestinian court Saturday sentenced two Palestinians to death for collaborating with Israel in the killing of a leader in Fateh movement, a court source was quoted by AFP as saying.
The security court passed death sentences on Mohammed al-Khatib, 28, and Hossam Homeid, 18, for providing Israeli security services with information that helped them kill Hussein Abayat, 37, the Fateh military chief in the southern West Bank, according to the agency.
The two men, who denied the charges, were accused of following Abayat, taking photos of him and passing on information on his movements, the source added.
Two other Palestinians, Hanna Salama, 19, and Wajih Abu Zneid, 18, were sentenced to life imprisonment by the same court, whose sentences cannot be appealed, for collaborating with Israel.
On November 9, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile at Abayat's car near Bethlehem. His death marked the beginning of Israel's "liquidation" campaign against Palestinians involved in attacks upon Israelis.
Some 20 Palestinian activists have been killed by the Israeli military since November.
On Saturday, two Palestinians were executed by firing squad, said Haaretz newspaper.
Their execution was the first by the Palestinian Authority for collaboration since its formation in 1994, said the paper.
Palestinian human rights organizations, according to Haaretz, expressed their opposition both to the death penalties, and to the existence of a national security court.
Three other Palestinians have been executed since then, but for common law crimes.
Palestinian justice minister Freih Abu Meddein had warned that Palestinian collaborators would "face security courts if they helped Israeli soldiers kill people," according to AFP.
According to Haaretz, Meddein called on all Palestinian collaborators, estimated by Palestinian sources to number as many as 20,000, to turn themselves in, and benefit from a fair trial.
He rejected claims that the trials held by the security court do not grant the defendants a fair trial, according to Haaretz -- Albawaba.com
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