Hamas vows to continue executions

22:15, April 19, 2010      

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The Islamic Resistance Movement ( Hamas) will continue executing collaborators and people convicted of serious crimes in the Gaza Strip, Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad said Monday.

"Executions would be carried out against anybody trying to stand on the way of the people or trying to contact the Zionist enemy and convey information to it," Hammad told a press conference in Gaza city. "The government won't step back implementing executions against those who harmed our national interests."

On Thursday, a Hamas firing squad executed two Palestinians that a court found them guilty of collaborating with Israel, bypassing a constitutional requirement that the president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) must ratify the death sentences.

Since President Mahmoud Abbas, whose forces control the West Bank only after Hamas drove them out of Gaza in 2007, had not approved the verdicts, the execution of the two has sparked angry protests by rights groups and some factions.

"They should focus on the tragedies that the collaborators caused to the victims' families," Hammad said, responding to critics.

Hammad was speaking before the house of Said Siam, the late Hamas minister of interior, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on a house he was hiding into during last year's Israel' "Cast Lead" military offensive on Gaza.

"The ministry of interior and the government have no objection against the return of any of the former security and police officers back to their jobs," said Hammad.

He was referring to about 30,000 security and police officers who refrained from returning back to their offices right after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip. "They are welcome and we encourage them."

Hamas has on Monday marked the four-year anniversary for forming the national unity Palestinian government, which was deposed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007.

The ongoing disputes between Hamas movement and President Abbas Fatah party had created a status of political division between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank ruled by Abbas.

Arab efforts had so far failed to bring the two rivals to signing on a reconciliation pact drafted by Egypt last October. Fatah accepted the pact, but Hamas refused and said it has some reservations that need to be amended.

"For us, the Palestinian reconciliation is a strategic choice that should happen soon," Hammad said, adding "Receiving Fatah leaders, sitting and talking to them is a clear proof that we are eager to achieve inter-reconciliation."

Source: Xinhua


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