Human Rights,  Israel/Palestine

Hamas, the government of terror

The Palestinian daily newspaper, Al-Hayat al-Jadida, features a story about a Palestinian family, the Abd Rabbos, who have spoken out about how Hamas threatened and violently intimidated people into letting militants use their homes for military purposes, including arms storage, weapons smuggling tunnels and even rocket launching.

The report said, according to the Jerusalem Post, that people who objected to the Hamas militants using their property as launch pads and their families as human shields were shot in the legs.

In other testimony released by Fatah, the movement claimed that dozens of its supporters and activists were extra-judicially executed by Hamas and many more maimed. But Hamas denied this:

 The de facto government in Gaza “categorically rejects” the accusations that extrajudicial executions and human rights violations were practiced by Hamas and factional members in Gaza during the Israeli onslaught.

Of couse this was immediately – and accidentally – exposed as a lie when another Hamas spokesperson Mousa Abu Marzouq told the Ma’an News Agency that Hamas did execute several ‘collaborators’ during Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, and that most of these were Fatah-affiliates.

Also, according to the Ma’an News Agency:

The Independent Commission on Human Rights in Gaza released a report on Monday confirming documentation of the close-range shooting of a “number” of individuals in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s war on the area. The ICHR report said the perpetrators of the shootings were often in official uniforms but sometimes masked, and “opened fire on people’s legs, severely beat others, imposed house arrests, and threatened to punish citizens along with their family members if they would not comply.”

Reuters then gives us a clue about what happens to those who criticise Hamas:

A Palestinian has accused Islamist Hamas militants in control of the Gaza Strip of torturing and killing his brother for publicly criticising them. Osama Atallah, a teacher, was a supporter of the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas… His brother, Bassam, said on Thursday that masked gunmen in two jeeps had arrived at the family home in the Gaza City on Tuesday. They identified themselves as members of Hamas internal security and arrested his brother Osama.

Mr Atallah was tortured and later died of his injuries.

Here, The Guardian is reporting that the executions and attacks continue as Hamas reasserts it control in Gaza. “Dozens believed dead in reprisal attacks as Hamas retakes control”, they say…

Palestinians in human rights organisations are reluctant to speak publicly about what is a sensitive issue, but one respected human rights worker in Gaza said he believed between 40 and 50 people had been killed in reprisal attacks since the start of the war. But there was not yet enough evidence to suggest this was an organised campaign by Hamas, he said.

“We don’t know who’s doing the killing,” the worker said. “Some are individuals, some might be from Hamas. It’s been happening over several days, all across Gaza. It’s not all necessarily Hamas actions against Fatah.” Another human rights worker put the figure at between 25 and 30 documented cases of reprisal.

A human rights group in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, and funded by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, has protested. “A number of citizens have been extra-judicially killed during and after the Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip,” the Independent Commission for Human Rights said in a statement.

“Fire was opened on affected citizens at a close distance. In addition, individuals in official uniform or masked persons opened fire on people’s legs, severely beat others, imposed house arrests, and threatened to punish citizens along with their families if they would not comply.”

I wonder if there is an expiry date for those who were “all Hamas now” last week. Are they still all Hamas as the death toll in Gaza continues to rise. And when they were protesting the death toll among the civilians of Gaza, did they spare a thought for the Abd Rabbo family and the countless others who were forced to make their families targets by Hamas terrorists? Or for the fathers who tried to put their family’s safety first and had their legs shot off by Hamas.?

Were you Hamas then? Are you Hamas now?