Amid reports that Hamas recently executed a number of Palestinians in Gaza, the militant group now embroiled in a bloody war with Israel, and that is also the de facto government of Gaza, confirmed Thursday that it has, in fact, carried out the killings of its fellow Palestinians. But Hamas said that those Palestinians were acting as "spies" for Israel.
In a separate report, Hamas is now said to have executed its own former public relations spokesperson, Ayman Taha. The execution was carried out Monday by a Hamas firing squad, according to reports in Israeli media citing the popular Palestinian newspaper al-Quds, which is where the report of Taha's execution first appeared.
According to the Palestinian paper, Taha was arrested on accusations that he was spying not for Israel, but for another, unspecified Arab country. He was also accused by Hamas of corrupt financial practices.
In the case of the other Palestinians labeled as "spies" and executed by Hamas, the group did not specify a number who had been killed. An earlier report cited by The Inquisitr gave the number of Palestinians executed by Hamas as 30, but a separate report said only that "dozens" of Palestinians had been accused of collaborating with Israel and executed.
The confirmation that those reports were substantially correct, though without any numbers, appeared on the website Al-Majd, which according to the Middle East Monitor site, is known for its strong ties to the Hamas security forces.
The site also warned that the execution of "collaborators" by Hamas authorities would continue.
"The resistance will not have mercy on any of those tempted to provide the enemy information regarding the resistance and its men," the site declared. "And the death in the field will be what they get."
The Al-Majd site quoted an anonymous Hamas security official, explaining the executions of Palestinian Gaza residents.
"The spies were executed after they were caught red-handedly informing on the whereabouts of the resistance (or) disrupting the work of resistance men and defusing ambushes prepared against the enemy," the unnamed Hamas official was quoted saying.
Also on Thursday night, four Hamas operatives were reported to be killed by their own bomb, which they were assembling in Jabalya, a city in Gaza about 2.5 miles north of Gaza City.