Gaza's Hamas rulers executed three Palestinians separately convicted of murders at dawn Tuesday without the necessary approval of the Palestinian president.
"To achieve public deterrence and block crime, the relevant authorities implemented at dawn on Tuesday execution rulings against three convicted of horrifying murders," the general prosecutor's office in Gaza said in a statement.
The three were executed after all appeal efforts, including a final opportunity for the victims' families to pardon them, were exhausted.
According to Palestinian law, all executions must be approved by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Despite this law and the urging of international and local organizations to not execute the three men, the prosecutor general proceeded - a move that is sure to further solidify divisions among Palestinians.
The execution marks the first time Hamas has exercised the death penalty since 2014, when a unified government was implemented in Gaza and the West Bank.