Hamas Accused of Using Gaza War as Cover for Executing Palestinians
JNS.org – The human rights group Amnesty International issued a scathing report in which it accused the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas of carrying out a campaign of abductions, torture, and unlawful killings of Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel during last summer’s conflict in Gaza.
Titled “‘Strangling Necks’: Abduction, torture and summary killings of Palestinians by Hamas forces during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict,”the report highlights a “series of abuses, such as the extrajudicial execution of at least 23 Palestinians and the arrest and torture of dozens of others, including members and supporters of Hamas’s political rivals, Fatah.”
“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
In what the report called “one of the most shocking incidents,” six men were publicly executed by Hamas outside of a mosque on Aug. 22, 2014, in front of hundreds of spectators, including children.
“The hooded men were dragged along the floor to kneel by a wall facing the crowd, then each man was shot in the head individually before being sprayed with bullets fired from an AK-47,” the report said.
Additionally, the human rights group accused Hamas of torturing its prisoners, including “severe beatings with truncheons, gun butts, hoses and wire or held in stress positions.”
Hamas leaders slammed the report, calling it “unfair and unprofessional.”
“Then report was based on sensationalism and exaggeration of a few incidents that took place under unusual circumstances during the Israeli aggression,” said Hamas spokesman Eyad al-Bazm, the Jerusalem Post reported. “This is an unprofessional report.”