Hamas may carry out death sentences for men convicted of “collaboration with Israel” within days.
Amnesty International reports that Hamas officials have indicated the sentences may be carried out in the next few days.
Fourteen people are known to have been sentenced to death in Hamas’ military courts, which do not meet international standards for fair trials.
However, more could be facing execution for charges of collaboration, treason and murder.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas suspended the operation of PA judicial systems in Gaza, so legal institutions have been created by Gaza’s ”caretaker” president, Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh.
Gaza’s attorney-general, Mohammed Abed, said that the General Prosecution Office had begun ratifying the death sentences.
Last week, Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad said in an interview: “We have the right to hasten the execution of those who are willing to kill their own people.”
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Malcolm Smart said: “Hamas must not start carrying out executions. That would be a profoundly retrograde step and go against the emerging trend towards a worldwide moratorium on executions.
“It would be especially abhorrent to execute prisoners who, as in these cases, were sentenced to death after proceedings which failed to meet international fair trial standards.”