Hamas executes three over commander's murder

WEB_PHOTO_Hamas_250517

Hamas police secure the area as an ambulance reportedly carrying the bodies of men accused of assassinating one of its military leaders, drives down a street in Gaza City on May 25, 2017 the Palestinian Islamist movement had executed them.

Hamas police secure the area as an ambulance reportedly carrying the bodies of men accused of assassinating one of its military leaders, drives down a street in Gaza City on May 25, 2017 the Palestinian Islamist movement had executed them.

WEB_PHOTO_Hamas_250517

Hamas police secure the area as an ambulance reportedly carrying the bodies of men accused of assassinating one of its military leaders, drives down a street in Gaza City on May 25, 2017 the Palestinian Islamist movement had executed them.

Hamas police secure the area as an ambulance reportedly carrying the bodies of men accused of assassinating one of its military leaders, drives down a street in Gaza City on May 25, 2017 the Palestinian Islamist movement had executed them.

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories - The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas executed three people in the Gaza Strip on Thursday over the assassination of one of its military leaders allegedly on behalf of Israel.

Two men were hanged to death in Gaza City over the killing of Mazen Faqha in March, while a third was executed by firing squad, said an AFP correspondent who attended the executions.

Hundreds of people were allowed to watch the executions, though the streets around the site were closed to the public.

One of those executed, Ashraf Abu Leila, was named as the alleged assassin while the other two men, who were not named, were convicted of assisting him.

The executions, which come only two weeks after the announcement of their arrests, were immediately condemned by human rights activists.

Human Rights Watch said the "rush" to kill the men "smacks of militia rule, not the rule of law".

Mazen Faqha was shot dead on March 24 near his house in Gaza City.

He had been in charge of forming cells for Hamas's military wing in the occupied West Bank.

Hamas immediately blamed its arch-enemy Israel, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, and implemented strict border restrictions on those seeking to leave the Palestinian enclave.