Middle East

The Gaza Strip is home to more than 1.7 million people, over 1.25 million of whom are refugees, according to the United Nations
Man, 54, accused of spying for Israel since 1987, was tried behind closed doors

A Palestinian was handed a death sentence in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip Monday on charges of spying for Israel, a court source said.

"The military court in Gaza decided upon death by hanging for the convict, 54, on charges on spying for the Israeli occupation," the source said.

The court said the man had allegedly been linked to the Israelis since 1987 and had provided a large amount of information to them since then.

The case was held behind closed doors and the defendant was referred to only by the initials E.A.

Another alleged spy was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The authorities in Gaza executed three men behind closed doors in May, the first time the death penalty had been carried out since 2014, drawing condemnation from the United Nations and rights groups.

In Gaza, which has been blockaded by Israel for a decade and has an unemployment rate of almost 45 percent, spying for the Jewish state is often brutally punished.

During the 2014 war, 18 alleged collaborators were shot dead in public by Hamas forces.

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