The Palestinian Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip has launched a campaign to encourage collaborators to give themselves up on condition that they agree to undergo rehabilitation. Ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan told a press conference on Tuesday that the campaign is the final stage of the victory against Israel's November war on civilians in Gaza.
"We are now working to protect the people of Palestinian from Israel's dirty tricks which it uses to recruit collaborators," he said. "We are demonstrating the failure of Israel's intelligence in the Gaza Strip, showing that its ability to penetrate our infrastructure to glean information is diminishing."
Mr. Shahwan called for collaborators to hand themselves over at Interior Ministry offices in order to undergo a rehabilitation process. "This is a one-off opportunity for those who were deceived and are tainted with the dirt of collaboration."
Those who take advantage of the amnesty have been assured that their identities will remain secret so that their public reputation is not tarnished. Thursday, 4th April was set as the deadline for collaborators to give themselves up. Anyone who fails to do so by the deadline will be dealt with "strictly", said Shahwan, who pointed out that the Interior Security Services have the expertise to deal with collaborators and Israeli intelligence agents.
This is not the first time that such an amnesty has been offered. The ministry has a track record of keeping to its word about maintaining secrecy over collaborators' personal details. Indeed, human rights organisations in Gaza have hailed the measures taken by the ministry in this regard, although they have also expressed their dismay at the death sentences handed to those collaborators who supplied information to the Israelis which led to the killing of well-known Palestinian figures.