Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar dismissed criticism leveled at the terror organization by rights groups who condemned the brutal public killings of seven Palestinian men during the recent conflict with Israel.
“We will not allow one collaborator to be in Gaza, and let human rights groups say whatever they want. A human has rights if they have honor and not if they are a traitor,” he said Saturday, according to Ma’an news agency.
Video of Palestinian men dragging a lifeless body through the streets of Gaza from behind one of their motorbikes received international attention. All seven men were accused of being spies and collaborators of Israel.
Deputy chief of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzouq, said the killings were “not acceptable at all,” and demanded that those responsible be held accountable.
Such an incident “must never happen again,” he said, according to Ma’an news agency.
Ma’an news agency reports that all seven men were in jail before Operation Pillar of defense began. It remains unclear as to why they ended up dead on the street.
Taher al-Nunu, a spokesman for the Hamas government, promised a full investigation into the killings, according to Ma’an news agency.
Ma’an news agency reports that three of the men– Amer al-Aef, Zuheir Hamouda and Ghassan Asfur — were sentenced to death in 2012. Two others, Ribhi Bedawi and Fadel Abu Shalluf, received the same sentence in 2011. The sixth victim, Naim Ashur, was convicted of treason in March 2010, according to the Independent Commission for Human Rights, the Palestinian Authority’s official rights ombudsman.