GAZA CITY: Courts in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip handed down three death sentences on Monday, including one for spying for Israel and two others for murder, authorities said.

In the first case, “the military court in Gaza decided upon death by hanging for the convict, 54, on charges on spying for the Israeli occupation,” a court 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.

Also on Monday two men from rival families were sentenced to death after tit-for-tat killings in 2013 and 2015 respectively, the public prosecutor said.

A series of death sentences have been handed down in recent weeks despite calls on Hamas from the European Union and rights groups to halt the practice.

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.

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.