Amnesty report: Hamas committed war crimes against Gaza civilians
In an earlier report in March, Amnesty criticised Israel and accused it of war crimes during the conflict
Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday that Gaza’s dominant Islamist Hamas committed war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the territory alleged to have collaborated with the enemy during last year’s war with Israel.
A ceasefire last August ended 50 days of fighting between Gaza militants and Israel in which health officials said more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.
“Hamas forces carried out a brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of ‘collaborating’ with Israel and others during Israel’s military offensive against Gaza,” London-based Amnesty’s report said.
A statement by Hamas denied involvement in the actions described by Amnesty, saying that rival Gaza families had taken part in “revenge attacks”.
Earlier, a Hamas spokesman criticised the report as being unfair, unprofessional and not credible.
“The report is dedicated against Palestinian resistance (to Israel) and the Hamas movement ... It deliberately exaggerated its descriptions without listening to all sides and without making an effort to check the truthfulness of details and information,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman.
In an earlier report in March, Amnesty criticised Israel and accused it of war crimes during the conflict. Israel said the report showed “extreme bias”, had dismissed its security challenges and had ignored Hamas’s actions.
Apart from the many deaths in the war, at least 16,245 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Israeli shelling and air strikes. Gaza militants fired thousands of rockets and mortar bombs into Israel.
In Wednesday’s report, Amnesty listed a number of cases it described as “spine-chilling” in which Palestinians accused by Hamas of helping Israel were tortured and killed.
“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,” the Amnesty report said.
Hamas dominates the Gaza Strip, a densely populated desert enclave on the Mediterranean which borders Israel and Egypt.
The Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court after the war, a move opposed by Israel, and the ICC is now examining possible war crimes in the conflict. But joining the court also exposes Palestinians to possible prosecution if a case is opened.
Amnesty International warns over torture practice in MoroccoAmnesty International reported Moroccan authorities still using torture despite a ban on the practice Middle East
Aussie PM closes door on returning foreign fightersAustralian PM Tony Abbott rules out amnesty for citizens seeking to quit foreign militant groups World News
Hamas MP says Gaza society will ‘collapse’ without new taxAbu Halbiya said that flour and medicines – classified as essential goods - would be exempt from the tax Business
Palestinians complain to FIFA over detained playerIsrael has cited security concerns, especially regarding movement in and out of Hamas-ruled Gaza Sports
Turkey, Hamas, rights group condemn Mursi death sentenceTurkey, the rights group Amnesty International, and Hamas have all criticized Egypt on Saturday for sentencing former President Mohammed Mursi to ... Middle East
Hamas says ISIS has no foothold in Gaza StripA Hamas spokesman said ISIS only had "some supporters" in the territory Middle East
Israeli general sees common interests with HamasThe dominant Palestinian Islamist group has sought to curb more radical organizations in Gaza that chafe at its authority Middle East
Hamas jails Gazan for 15 years for spying for IsraelIn March two other men were given the same sentence for the same offence Middle East