CAIRO: Hamas forces tortured and killed more than 23 Palestinians allegedly accused of collaborating with Israel during its war on Gaza strip between July and August 2013, said Amnesty international in a report issued Wednesday.
“It is absolutely appalling that, while Israeli forces were inflicting massive death and destruction upon the people in Gaza, Hamas forces took the opportunity to ruthlessly settle scores, carrying out a series of unlawful killings and other grave abuses,” director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, Philip Luther said.
“The Hamas leadership repeatedly calls for rights and justice for Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere. But they do not always act in a manner that reflects respect for rights, justice and the rule of law. By failing to halt such grave violations, the Hamas authorities are dragging the name of justice through the mud and condoning these appalling crimes,” he added.
The 16 Palestinians whom Hamas announced were killed for collaborating with Israel during last summer’s war, had already been in Hamas’s custody before the conflict broke out with Israel, according to the report.
“Hamas forces also abducted, tortured or attacked members and supporters of Fatah, their main rival political organization within Gaza, including former members of the Palestinian Authority security forces,” the report said.
The report included testimonials of victims’ relatives. The brother of a former Palestine Authority officer named Atta Najar, said the received his brother’s body after being killed Aug. 22, 2014 from the Gaza based Al-Shifa hospital’s morgue.
“There were marks of torture and bullet shots on his body. His arms and legs were broken… his body was as if you’d put it in a bag and smashed it… His body was riddled with about 30 bullets. He had slaughter marks around his neck, marks of knives… And from behind the head – there was no brain” he told Amnesty.
Najjar was serving a 15-year prison term imposed by a military court after he was arrested in 2009 and subsequently convicted of collaborating with Israel, the report said.
Moreover, the report quoted the brother of an insurance company employee named Ibrahim Dabour as he was held in Katiba Prison in Gaza after being tried before a Hamas military court over charges of “communicating with hostile side”. Dabour was executed publicly Aug. 22, 2014.
“Even if he had been sentenced to death, there would have been an appeals process and other alternatives. What they have done is nothing to do with justice, it’s just criminal. These are the actions of militias,” Dabour’s brother told Amnesty.
On the night before his execution at 10.30 PM, Dabour received a text message saying “The judgment against Ibrahim Dabour has been carried out according to the Shari’a as per the ruling of the Revolutionary Court”, his brother said.
“We were told about the execution by people around us at 1pm. There was no official notification. He was executed at 9:30am on Friday,” he added.