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Hamas hangs three Palestinian prisoners

Hamas announced that it executed three prisoners in Gaza.

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This is "Hamas" written in Arabic. The movement's name can be seen on many walls throughout the city. (Thodore May/GlobalPost)

Three Palestinian prisoners were executed by Hamas, the Hamas-controlled administration in Gaza announced today. The three men were killed by hanging.

One of the executed men was accused of collaborating with Israel and the two others had been convicted of murder, BBC News reported. However, the evidence that lead to their executions is not public record, making it "impossible to assess the quality of the evidence," the BBC said. The specific charges that the men faced are also a mystery. 

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Hamas also announced that the men would have been spared from the hangings if the families of the victims offered forgiveness, but that did not happen, the Associated Press reported.

At least 11 prisoners have been executed since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Reuters reported, and more than 30 death sentences have been issued by the courts.

In this case, the defendants were not named. The interior ministry insisted that they "had been given their full right to defend themselves," according to Reuters. 

Under Palestinian law, executions are supposed to be approved by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But Hamas has not recognized his leadership since 2007, the BBC said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120407/hamas-hangs-three-palestinian-prisoner