Palestinian gunmen ride motorcycles as they drag the body of a man, who was suspected of working for Israel,
Palestinian gunmen ride motorcycles as they drag the body of a man, who was suspected of working for Israel (Reuters)

Six Palestinian men have been executed after being accused of spying for Israel. After a brief trial, the six alleged informers were executed and dumped in a Gaza street, reports said.

"Their bodies are still there now. Ambulances have been arriving to presumably take them away," Sky News correspondent Stuart Ramsay said.

The six "were caught red-handed" with high-tech filming equipment to take videos of military positions, according to a security source quoted by the Hamas Aqsa radio. The men were shot.

Militants hooked the body of one alleged spy to a motorcycle and dragged him through the streets of Gaza City.

The development came after Egypt's president Mohammed Mursi announced that the "farce of Israeli aggression" against Gaza would end today (Tuesday).

"The efforts to conclude a truce between the Palestinian and Israeli sides will produce positive results in the next few hours," he said during the funeral of his sister in the Nile delta town of Zagazig.

His comments came ahead of a visit by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton to Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo to discuss a long-term ceasefire.

Jets belonging to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are dropping leaflets over Gaza, urging the occupants of 11 villages north, south and east of Gaza to move into central areas for their own safety.

The Hamas internal ministry called the leaflets "propaganda to terrify Gazans" and urged the villagers to stay put.

Al Jazeera translated one leaflet dropped over the villages:

Military announcement

To the residents of Sheikh Ijleen, Tal al Hawa, Remal al-Janoub, Zeitoun neighbourhood, Shoujaiyat al-Tourkman, Shoujaiyat al-Jadida:

The Israeli military is not targeting any of you and does not want to hurt you or members of your family.

For your own safety, you are requested to evacuate your houses right away and to move towards Gaza City through Cairo Road, Arab League Road, al-Aqsa Road, al-Qadisiya Road, Em el Leymoun, Salaheddine, al-Mansoura, Khalas, Baghdad.

The deployment in Gaza City is limited in the west of Salah al-Din Road, north of Omar al Moukhtar Road, east of Nasr Road, and south of al-Qods Road.

This confrontation is temporary and once it ends everyone will go home.

Obeying the orders of the Israeli military will result in you, civilian residents, not being hurt

The Israeli Defence Army Leadership


The evacuation warnings may suggest either limited incursions or a heavy bombardment of the area, said Paul Danahar, BBC Middle East correspondent.

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman told UN chief Ban Ki-moon that if Israel opted for a ground offensive in Gaza "it would be a limited operation".

"Comments and public declarations urging Israel to refrain from a ground offensive bolster Hamas and lengthen the current conflict," Lieberman said.