A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is reportedly right around the corner, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the streets of Gaza today. Six alleged “Israeli spies” were publicly executed at a busy intersection by Hamas operatives, their bodies then desecrated by the mob with one being dragged behind a motorcycle through the streets as people screamed “Spy! Spy!”
Witnesses say that six men were pulled out of a van at a busy Gaza intersection on Tuesday, forced to lie face-down on the pavement, and were then executed in cold blood by members of the Hamas military wing, who claimed responsibility for the incident. Five of the bodies were piled up, stomped on, and spit on by the mob present, while a sixth body was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets.
Nearby, Hamas allegedly posted a sign on a pole after the execution, naming the six “Israeli spies” as a warning to other Palestinians.
These executions are just another disturbing scene from the renewed violence between Hamas and Israel, which has carried on for nearly a week. Gazan officials report more than 112 fatalities, but that number is unconfirmed, with some claiming that a number of Gazan fatalities have occurred indirectly at the hands of Hamas rather than by the IDF. Furthermore, recent reports suggesting that an Israeli airstrike had claimed the life of a young Palestinian boy seem to have been false, with the boy’s death likely being due to an errant Hamas missile.
Israel claims that they use a number of informants and “spies” in Gaza to identify military targets, so as to reduce the number of civilian causalities.
AFP and Getty snapped photos of the execution and aftermath, and mainstream publications like The Daily Mail have featured the story on their front page. CNN‘s Anderson Cooper tweeted an image of the scene as well, as it was occurring. A video of the apparent aftermath was posted to YouTube. All can be seen below, but we must warn you that these images are graphic and potentially disturbing:
— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) November 20, 2012