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Gaza-based Hamas military court issues first ruling

[JURIST] A military court established in the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] by the Palestinian militant group Hamas [JURIST archive; BBC backgrounder] handed down its first ruling on Wednesday, sentencing three members of rival party Fatah [JURIST archive; BBC backgrounder] to 18 months in prison and fining them $280. A fourth Fatah member was sentenced to one year in prison and a $140 fine. The four men were accused of planting a bomb near the house of a Hamas official, although no one was hurt in the resulting explosion. AP has more.

The Hamas court was established after Hamas' violent June takeover of the Gaza Strip [BBC report]. The judiciary of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Gaza Strip, under orders from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile], has refused to cooperate with the Hamas government and ceased functioning since the takeover in June. Hamas vowed in September that it would replace PA judges [JURIST report] who refused to cooperate with it. The military court was expected to begin considering criminal cases that ordinarily would have been dealt with by the PA courts.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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