Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines at a recent press conference by specifically comparing Hamas to ISIS.

As if to prove Netanyahu right, Hamas conducted the execution without trial of several alleged collaborators on Thursday, followed up by a reported 18 today. This is on top of dozens previously executed. Many if not all of these were conducted in public. Hamas has been known to drag bodies through the streets, although it’s unclear if that happened this time.

CNN reports:

Hamas executed 18 suspected informants for Israel in Gaza on Friday, the Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV reported.
This comes one day after an Israeli strike in the Gaza city of Rafah killed three senior leaders of the Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing.

The Times of Israel adds:

The witness said masked gunmen lined up the seven men in a side street and opened fire on them. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his own safety.

Other witnesses told AFP that six of them were grabbed from among hundreds of worshipers leaving the city’s largest mosque, by men in the uniform of Hamas’s military wing. They were pushed to the ground. One of the masked men shouted: “This is the final moment of the Zionist enemy collaborators,” then the gunmen sprayed them with bullets.

Aaron Klein and Mitch Ginsburg at The Times of Israel note how the Israeli strike on the three commanders, preceded by an attack on the hiding place of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif (who’s status is uncertain) has bred paranoia among Hamas’ ranks:

That Israeli missiles reached them, a senior Israeli military source said after the strike, is evidence of what Hamas’s commanders would consider “a grave betrayal.” It is a development, which, he said, has left Hamas both deeply unsettled and “in shock.”

The official said Hamas has the most trouble trying to thwart old-fashioned human intelligence. That, he said, is “the most scary, most sensitive, most threatening” form of betrayal.

Hamas, he added, has a unit devoted to exposing collaborators. On Thursday, several hours after the assassination, Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, announced on its Arabic twitter feed that it had “swiftly arrested seven collaborators, and executed another three immediately.”

The officer said that “many dozens” of individuals have been arrested during the past several weeks on charges of collaboration and that, on July 17, four had been executed for their alleged crimes.

These so-called collaborators, the source said, corrode the mutual trust and confidence of a fighting unit like Hamas. “For them, the HUMINT is everything,” he said. “It’s the most dangerous and the most painful.”


Reuters has many photos.