Wael Al-ahmed, Mohammed Assadi
July 15, 2008 - 3:06pm

A Palestinian military court on Tuesday sentenced two Palestinians to death by firing squad for collaborating with Israel, a court statement said.

The three-judge military court in the northern West Bank city of Jenin ruled that Wael Said Saad and Mohammad Saad had "contacted the enemy". They were found guilty of "treason" and sentenced to death by firing squad.

However, it is unlikely the men will be put to death because the sentence must be authorised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has never before taken such a step.

The statement did not say whether the two men -- one of whom was present for the sentencing -- pleaded guilty or not, but said the verdict could not be appealed.

Human rights groups have sharply criticised Palestinian military courts, saying trials are unfair because there is no right of appeal, and arguing they should not try civilians.

Palestinians look harshly upon collaboration with Israel and during a Palestinian uprising which started in 2000, militants publicly executed people they accused of tipping off the Jewish state about the whereabouts of wanted men.

The court statement said Wael Said Saad was from the southern West Bank town of Yatta, near Hebron, but did not provide details for Mohammed Saad.


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