Gaza, Aug 22 IANS | 4 months ago

Palestinian militias Friday executed 18 people accused of collaborating with Israel, 48 hours after three top military leaders of the Islamic Palestinian movement Hamas were killed in an Israeli airstrike on their home.

At least 11 of the presumed informants were shot dead in a police station in central Gaza "after facing judgement" in revolutionary courts set up by Hamas, reported the Al-Majd website and the Al-Ray news agency, both close to the Palestinian movement.

Witnesses said seven other men were executed in public in front of the Al Omari mosque in Gaza, by masked men dressed in the uniform of the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

"They were on Israel's side, giving information about the location of tunnels and tank traps, as well as about the homes of the fighters and the places from where we launched rockets," the Brigades said on social networks.

The fresh violence in Gaza came after the breakdown last Tuesday of a truce and of indirect peace talks held in Cairo with the mediation of Egypt to reach a permanent ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.

Palestinian militias have since fired more than 100 rockets on Israel, injuring one person, while Israel has targeted Hamas leaders with precise strikes against their homes.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces bombed the home of Hamas military leader Mohammed al Deif, who survived the attack which killed his wife, his seven-month-old daughter and three other civilians.

The three top Hamas military chiefs were killed Thursday in a similar attack on their home in the southern town of Rafah.

Some 2,090 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians, since Israel on July 8 launched Operation protective Edge to put an end to rocket attacks on Israel.

On the Israeli side, 64 troopers have been killed in the fighting and three civilians in the rocket attacks.

At the Cairo talks, the main sticking points were Hamas's demand for an end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza and Israel's insistence that Hamas and other groups in Gaza hand over their weapons.

Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to pursue the campaign until full security is guaranteed for his country.

(Posted on 22-08-2014)

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