Public executions by Hamas in Gaza are quite common.

But some are more equal than others, and the public execution today has received quite a bit of attention, in fact more than Hamas wanted. The execution was livestreamed — apparently against Hamas wishes — by the Gaza Now News Agency from a window in a building overlooking the execution site.

The background is that the three men executed were allegedly involved in the killing of a senior Hamas terror planner in March, as we reported at the time, Senior Hamas Terror Planner Mazen Faqha Assassinated in Gaza:

Mazen Faqha was a Hamas official responsible for organizing a 2002 suicide bombing attack in Israel.

Found guilty and given a life sentence for the crime that killed nine people and injured scores more, he was among the over 1000 terrorists—many of them also with blood on their hands and serving life sentences—released in 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange to free hostage IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Faqha was deported to Gaza.

From there, according to Israeli officials, he became a “key planner” in setting up Hamas terror cells in the West Bank, directing them as they organized and launched deadly terror attacks against Israelis.

On Friday March 24th, 38-year-old Faqha was assassinated by assailants using silencers ….

https://twitter.com/Jtruzmah/status/845711165103603712

Hamas was furious, vowed revenge, and closed the Gaza borders to try to catch the killers.

Eventually Hamas claimed to find the killers, and put them on trial 10 days ago. After conviction, the three men were sentenced to death:

A court in the Gaza Strip on Sunday sentenced three men to death over the killing of a Hamas military commander, which Hamas has blamed on Israel.

After a four-day trial, two of the accused were sentenced to be hanged and one to be shot, the military court announced.

The killing of Mazen Faqha in the middle of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on March 24 shocked the movement and raised the possibility of a new round of violence with Israel.

In Sunday’s court ruling, suspect Ashraf Abu Leila, 38, was sentenced to hang after being convicted of murder.

The others were identified only as Hisham A, 44, who was also sentenced to hang, and Abdallah N, who was to face the firing squad. They were convicted of collaborating with Israel.

Today the executions were carried out. While they were public, Hamas allegedly didn’t want the executions televised since it had come under criticism from international groups.

But the Gaza Now News Agency broadcast the executions live on Facebook, as Israel’s i24 News reports:

The Gaza Now news website launched a Facebook Live video which appeared to show an aerial view of the square where Ashraf Abu Leila, Hisham al-Aloul, and Abdallah al-Nashar were executed for the assassination of Hamas military commander Mazen Fuqaha.

The live-stream had some 7,000 viewers, and a video of the executions remained on the Gaza Now Facebook page after the suspects had been executed.

Ashraf Abu Leila, the main suspect in Fuqaha’s killing, was hanged, while two other suspects charged with assisting in the assassination — Hisham al-Aloul and Abdallah al-Nashar — were also executed by hanging and firing squad respectively.

Hundreds of people looked on while the executions took place.

The Jerusalem Post took this screenshot:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hamas-publicly-executes-three-over-murder-of-Gaza-commander-493935

(added) Hamas criticized the video, according to The Times of Israel:

Hamas slammed the broadcast, warning against publishing the footage.

“The interior ministry warns against publishing any footage or photos from the execution of the agents of the occupation involved in the assassination,” the Hamas-run ministry said in a statement. “Anyone who violates this will face legal measures.”

The Gaza Now news agency, which live-streamed the execution from a distance, quickly responded to Hamas’s warning, saying that it had “not received any decision from the Interior Ministry or from the Media Office in Gaza to prevent the filming of the execution,” the site tweeted, adding that it had broadcast from the same site on Wednesday.

So who actually believes Gaza Now News Agency would violate Hamas’ orders and risk retribution? It was a convenient way to get the message out.

[Featured Image: Facebook Screenshot via i24 News]