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Hamas court sentences two Gaza drug dealers to death

GAZA (Reuters) - A military court in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Sunday sentenced two drug dealers to death, the first such punishment handed down by the Palestinian judiciary in a narcotics case, officials said.

Marijuana and prescription painkillers have been flooding into the Gaza Strip, prompting officials from Hamas, an Islamist group, to seek tougher penalties for smuggling drugs.

Both convicted dealers were caught smuggling marijuana, opium and tramadol through tunnels under the border with Egypt, according to a list of their charges.

"Such actions represented a threat to Palestinian national security, with its economic and political dimensions," the court said.

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One of the dealers was sentenced to death by firing squad and the other by hanging.

(Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; editing by Jeffrey Heller and Jason Neely)

 
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