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May 21, 6:22 AM EDT

Hamas sentences 3 to death for killing of senior commander


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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Gaza's Hamas rulers have sentenced three Palestinians to death for allegedly killing a senior commander of the militant group after collaborating with Israel.

Sunday's verdicts are final and can't be appealed according to the rules of the so-called "military field tribunal." The week-long trial was the first to be held since Hamas took over Gaza by force in 2007.

The mysterious killing of Mazen Faqha in March dealt a blow to Hamas, which has prided itself on setting up a security system immune to Israeli intelligence.

Hamas accuses Israel of being behind the killing of Faqha through its network of collaborators. Last week Hamas' Interior Ministry said a manhunt that followed the death resulted in the detention of 45 Israeli collaborators - the largest sweep since Hamas seized power.

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