Jul 17, 2012, 01.30 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Hamas executes three Gaza men for murder

PALESTINIANS-HAMAS-EXECUTION:Hamas executes three Gaza men for murder

GAZA (Reuters) - Three men convicted of murder were hanged in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the territory's interior ministry said.

A total of 14 Palestinians have now been executed since the Islamist group Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

No details of the murder cases were given and the Hamas-run ministry identified the executed men only by their initials.

Under Palestinian law, Abbas is supposed to have the final say on whether executions are carried out, but Hamas runs its justice system without consulting the president.

Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned the use of the death penalty in Gaza. Hamas rejects such criticism.

The executions were carried out "in accordance with our religion (and the) rulings of Palestinian law," the ministry statement said.

Gaza courts have handed out 30 death sentences since 2007, many of them to people convicted of helping Israeli security forces.

(Reporting by Nidal Almughrabi, Editing by Ori Lewis and Andrew Heavens)

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