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January 22, 2012 2:16 pm

In Gaza, Hamas and Friends Tighten the Noose

avatar by Steven Emerson

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A Palestinian receiving medical care from IDF soldiers. Photo: IDF.

A Palestinian human-rights advocate has been brutally attacked by masked assailants after publishing an article criticizing Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups. Mahmoud Abu Rahma, international relations director at the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, said he was stabbed repeatedly in the leg, shoulders and back on the night of Jan. 13 after leaving his brother’s house in Gaza City.

Rahma, who received a dozen stitches, was released from the hospital Wednesday. He said his recent problems began after publishing an op-ed criticizing local jihadist organizations for using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Although he did not mention any of the Palestinian “resistance” groups by name, Rahma was clearly criticizing the Hamas regime and allied jihadist groups that fire rockets at Israel from Gaza. UN Watch, a Switzerland-based organization that monitors United Nations activities, criticized the world body for ignoring human-rights violations by Hamas and its allies against Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is remarkable is that with all of the massive UN resources ostensibly dedicated to protecting Palestinians, the world body somehow managed to turn a blind eye to the massive violations of Palestinian rights described by … Rahma,” UN Watch said.

Hamas and other jihadists “show little or no care for people’s life and wellbeing,” Rahma noted. “Military sites function and are located in places very close to neighborhoods, and/or schools, from where acts of resistance, including firing rockets, also occur,” Rahma said.

He described the devastating human toll of jihadist operations out of densely populated civilian areas in Gaza. For example, “children are killed or maimed when explosive devices left in the streets or farms explode in their hands. And there is the young man who was shot in the legs for daring to publicly criticize a local resistance leader.”

On another front, the Associated Press reported Thursday that Hamas police “beat up members of Gaza’s tiny Shiite minority when they tried to hold a religious ceremony.”

The thuggery and intimidation is one part of life under the Islamist dictatorship in Gaza. But the cultural noose is also tightening, as Hamas bans activities it deems un-Islamic.

Organizers of the Palestinian version of “American Idol” said Hamas has banned residents from participating, with an official claiming the show was not “morally acceptable.” The regime has already barred women from smoking waterpipes and riding on the backs or motorcycles and prohibited men from working in hair salons.

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