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Six Palestinians sentenced to death in Gaza over spying for Israel

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a military court in Gaza.

A military court in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip has handed death sentences to six people convicted of spying for the Tel Aviv regime, authorities say.

According to Gaza’s interior ministry on Monday, a total of 14 people were sentenced for "collaborating with the occupation," with six sentenced to be hanged and the rest sentenced to hard labor.

Among those sentenced was a woman living inside the Israeli occupied territories, named only as Amal, who was sentenced in absentia and is alleged to have encouraged her nephew in Gaza to collaborate with Israeli intelligence.

During a press briefing, Iyad al-Bozum, the spokesman of the interior ministry in Gaza, said that the convicts were linked "to a communications and eavesdropping device planted by the (Israeli) occupation."

In May, at least six members of the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, were killed when the device apparently exploded after detection near Dayr al-Balah in central Gaza.

Bozum during a press briefing also hailed the rulings as a "clear message" to those who would cooperate with Israel. "Collaborators must realize the (Israeli) occupation will not be able to protect them."

"Collaborators must realize the (Israeli) occupation will not be able to protect them,” he said.

It was not clear when the executions of those in custody would take place.

This comes as tensions have been running high near the fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests called “The Great March of Return.”

Palestinian protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The deadly clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day, or Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Some 240 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded in the renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza Health Ministry.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. The blockade, which has cut off the territory from the outside world, has led to an economic and humanitarian crisis in the densely-populated enclave.

The Israeli regime also regularly conducts air raids targeting Gaza.

Israel has waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including a devastating 50-day aggression in 2014. More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed and over 11,100 others sustained injuries in the onslaught. Hundreds of buildings were devastated in the war. 

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