Hamas Offers Amnesty to Palestinian Collaborators Spying for IsraHell

NOVANEWS

Hamas tries to end collaboration with what it says is due process, but some NGO’s say accused rights are violated in Hamas prisons

Humanitarian Crisis Continues in Gaza

Bio

Yousef Alhelou, is a Palestinian freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Gaza-Palestine. His work has been featured in a variety of media outlets including BBC, GRN, CBC radio Canada, TV New Zealand, UN observer, Press TV, Etejah TV, Maan news network, Electronic Intifada among many others. Yousef is a UN fellow and took part in many speaking tours in Europe about his work experience working in a war-zoon. Yousef covered the infighting between Fatah and Hamas as well as the two Israeli wars on Gaza, siege-breaking boats and many other major events since 2006. Yousef runs Gaza TV News page on facebook that has over 46,000 followers.

 

Transcript

Following the Egyptian brokered ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas ruled Gaza that ended eight days of war last November; both sides are engaged in what is known as the “War of Brains”.
 
Tranquility prevails in the costal tiny strip, perhaps this is a good time for Hamas run interior ministry, which has announced a new amnesty campaign and rehabilitation programs to collaborators in Gaza spying for Israel, to turn themselves in and take advantage of the amnesty offer.
PTC: Since it took control of Gaza in 2007, one of the priorities of Hamas-run government especially for internal security, is to work hard to combat the phenomenon of collaboration
 
The Real News talked to the Spokesperson of the interior ministry in Gaza who said that the phenomenon of collaboration is small but many have been arrested and others have turned themselves in. Adding that these collaborators pose a real danger to the unity of the people and their resistance against Israel, which has sealed off the narrow coastal enclave by land, sea and air. 
(Interview: Islam Shahwan, Spokesperson of the Interior ministry in Gaza) 
Transcript: (The enemy is trying constantly to recruit new collaborates in order to penetrate our internal front but our inelegance security officers are working around the clock to counter the Zionist espionage measures. We are conducting awareness campaigns to protect our society and internal front. We still offer amnesty to those who turn themselves in and we keep their identities confidential. 2013 will be the year to end the phenomenon of collaborators ) 
Rights observers say it is difficult to know if the amnesty and rehabilitation programmes violate international humanitarian law, since it is unclear whether the participants are being detained against their will. They say there is reason for concern, however. The Hamas-run military courts that hand down death sentences for collaborators, for instance, are widely accused of denying defendants access to legal representation. 
(Interview: Sameer Zaqout, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights) 
Transcript: (The phenomenon of collaborates in the occupied Palestinian territories especially in Gaza is a real problem, especially in light of the absence of applying human rights and justice, because most of the alleged collaborates who have been arrested so far by the Hamas run-interior security do not enjoy their basic rights, therefore human rights groups are always concerned about the safty and rights of these people who are subjected to inhumane interrogation. In many cases many spies were caught red- handed possessing high-tech equipment but the vast majority were convicted without solid evidences. Most of them are referred to a judiciary system that was formed in a way that is against the Palestinian basic law, giving that this judiciary systems was formed by a government that is affiliated to one political party, the lawyer, the judge, the police and interrogators are all from the same political party. Therefore many human rights groups boycotted this new judiciary system that was formed in Gaza in the past few years after Hamas came to power) 
(Interview: Islam Shahwan, Spokesperson of the Interior ministry in Gaza) 
Transcript: (Collaborators are treated according to the Palestinian law, they are referred to military courts, they have access to lawyers and they can appeal. Sometimes death sentence verdicts reconsidered and sentenced to some years in prison) 
Some experts say that recruiting new Palestinian collaborators does not mean that Israel suffers from the lack of information, as reconnaissance drones and high-tech equipments are used to gather information, in addition to spies who are covert and still active, but Israel always seeks to gather and updates information. 
(Interview: Fathey Sabbah, Palestinian Communication and Development Center) 
Transcript: (It’s true that there were achievements by the government in Gaza to fight this phenomenon but since the communication between the spy and the Israeli intelligence is conducted individually, this means that there are many collaborates still covert and unknown. I think the phenomenon of collaborators is an old one that existed long time ago in the occupied Palestinian territories including Gaza, and it is a very dangerous phenomenon. The government in Gaza says the phenomenon has declined shapely due to its campaigns to crackdown on collaborators, but I doubt it has decreased. I think the techniques and high technology used by the Israeli intelligence to communicate with the collaborators make it very difficult to uncover these spies) 
Despite Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in late 2005, it still maintains its full control over Gaza’s air space, territorial waters and border crossings except the Rafah crossing, it practices a policy of blackmailing against some travelers including patients passing via the Eriz crossing that links Gaza with the rest of the occupied territories, by asking them to collaborate and give information about the activities of Palestinian resistance groups or individuals. 
(Interview: Sameer Zaqout, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights)
Transcript: (Israel exploited and still exploits its control over Gaza’s border crossings to recruit more collaborates by blackmailing Gazan patients seeking medical care at hospitals inside Israel or the West Bank. We have documented many cases by collecting testimonies from patients who were refused exit by the Israeli army after they refused to collaborate with the Israeli inelegance service. This treatment is against the international law, and the international community is complicit for not intervening to stop this way of humiliation and human rights violations )
 
(Interview: Islam Shahwan, Spokesperson of the Interior ministry in Gaza)
Transcript: (The Zionist enemy suffered a serious blow during the 2009 and 2012 wars on Gaza as he was not able to gather information due to the difficulty to communicate with the collaborators on the ground. The enemy did not spare any effort to recruit new collaborators including women, using new different and even old methods. for instance through blackmailing patients at the Eriz crossing or by communicating with some people via e-mail or mobile phones and pretending to be calling from international NGO’s abroad offering to help, the enemy even targets some local journalists and some media companies by pretending to be an international media outlet and then asks them to do some reports on specific topics in exchange for big amount of money)
 
During the 8-day war, six Palestinians who were suspected of spying to Israel were kidnapped from their prison and killed by masked gunmen who then chained the bodies of the alleged collaborators to motorcycles and dragged them throughout the main streets of Gaza City. Following the incident, Mousa Abu Marzouq, Hamas’s deputy leader condemned what he described the unlawful killing, adding that punishing collaborators and especially those involved in the killing of leaders Palestinian resistance groups must only be carried out in accordance with the law and through the legal procedures. 
(Interview: Islam Shahwan, Spokesperson of the Interior ministry in Gaza) 
Transcript: (we have said clearly to all international and local human rights organizations that we are against the inhumane way of how those people killed, it was uncivilized way and it was a grave violation. Our ministry conducted an official investigation and we found out the perpetrators and we applied punitive measures against them) 
The Real News talked to the father and wife of one of the collaborators who was executed. The family says that they have not been updated about the results of the investigation 
(Interview: Wife of Executed Collaborator)
Transcript: (My husband spent 3 years in prison; the way how he was killed and dragged was inhumane, how would his three daughters and two sons feel when they grow up and see the footage)
 
(Interview: Abu Rebhi Badawi, Father of executed collaborator)
Transcript: (My son was accused of being a collaborator, he was sentenced to death by a military court and we appealed against that decision, we were shocked when we saw the footage of our son along five others executed and dragged in the streets by motorcyclists, we are still waiting to hear the results of the committee that was formed to investigate who killed him in that way and who gave the order ?)
 
These families have bitter feelings as they don’t want to be associated with the stigma of having a family member seen or accused as a being a collaborator.
Although Palestinian law permits capital punishment for those convicted of collaborating with Israel, death sentences must be ratified by the president of the Palestinian Authority, but that authority is not recognized by Hamas in light of the prolonged split.
 
PTC: As the anti-espionage campaign aims to cleanse Israel’s alleged spies through turning themselves in, or face arrest and a possible death sentence handed down in a military court, “The war of brains” between Hamas and Israel is continuing despite the tranquility on the ground.

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