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Bodies of Alleged Palestinian Collaborators Displayed in West Bank


Masked Palestinians executed two men and put their bodies on display in a public square in the West Bank Thursday, saying they had collaborated with Israel. The men were kidnapped and interrogated by two militant Palestinian groups that say the men provided intelligence to Israel about their organizations.

The men were abducted two weeks ago by two militant groups - the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades and the Islamic Jihad.

Both groups have carried out terror attacks against Israelis, including suicide bombings.

The two men were suspected of giving away the hideout of an activist for the Al-Aqsa Brigades, who was killed by Israeli troops.

One of the two, a former member of Islamic Jihad, had also been accused of betraying two members of the group, who were also killed by Israeli forces.

Their alleged confessions were videotaped by their captors and shown in the central square of the refugee camp in Tulkarm on Wednesday night. Palestinian witnesses say gunmen took the two captives to an alley and shot them dead on Thursday, shortly before daybreak.

An official of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the armed wing of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, said the two groups had carried out the executions together.

The bullet-riddled bodies were later dragged to the central square and propped up for public display.

Family members of the dead men came to take their corpses away as large crowds began to gather.

Witnesses say the families fired guns into the air and vowed to avenge the deaths.

Israeli security forces often make use of Palestinian informants to help them target wanted Palestinians.

Dozens of suspected Palestinian informers have been executed by fellow Palestinians, since the latest uprising against Israel began more than three years ago.

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