On May 27, 2015, the Human Rights NGO (non-government organization) Amnesty International (AI) published a report titled, “‘Strangling Necks’: Abduction, torture and summary killings of Palestinians by Hamas forces during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict” (“Gaza: Palestinians tortured, summarily killed by Hamas forces during 2014 conflict”, Amnesty International .org). AI published this report to accuse Hamas of committing war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip during its 2014 war with Israel (Ori Lewis, “Amnesty International: Hamas committed war crimes against Gaza civilians”, Reuters, May 26, 2015). The report made several accusations.
First, “Hamas forces carried out a brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of 'collaborating' with Israel” (ibid). Second, some of these killing were particularly brutal, even ‘spine chilling’ (ibid). Third, Hamas granted “its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses against people in its custody. These ‘spine-chilling’ actions…were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across…Gaza” (ibid). Fourth, this Hamas effort was coordinated. It was codenamed, ‘Strangling necks’ (ibid). Fifth, in the nine months since that July-August war ended, no one in Gaza has been held accountable for crimes committed by Hamas forces against Palestinians (ibid). AI deduces from this last fact that these crimes were either ordered or condoned by Hamas (ibid).
AI concluded that, while the Hamas leadership repeatedly calls for rights and justice for Palestinians in Gaza, it doesn’t use justice or the rule of law towards its own people. Hamas, AI declared, displays a disregard for the most fundamental rules of international humanitarian law. Torture and cruel treatment of detainees in an armed conflict is a war crime. Extrajudicial executions are also war crimes (ibid).
On May 28, Hamas responded to these accusations (Khaled Abu Toameh, “Hamas attacks ‘unfair’ Amnesty report alleging war crimes in Gaza”, as reprinted in albawaba news from the Jerusalem Post). This is how Hamas responded:
First, it condemned the report (ibid). The report was unprofessional (ibid). It was sensationalism because it had exaggerated “a few incidents” (ibid).
Note that these ‘incidents’ included murder, torture and beatings. Note also that Hamas doesn’t deny the ‘incidents’ took place. It simply says the report ‘exaggerated’ what happened. Hamas doesn’t explain what those ‘exaggerations’ were.
Hamas described the report as “unlawful and biased in favor of Israeli occupation” (ibid). The report lacks objectivity, Hamas said, because it “blames…the ‘Palestinians’” (ibid).
This is the ‘Palestinian’ way. They are never wrong. They never accept responsibility. It’s always Israel’s fault.
In response to AI’s accusations, Hamas declared that Israel alone bears responsibility for the killing of ‘collaborators’ because it launched airstrikes on security installations where they were being held (ibid). Hamas fails to note that the AI report doesn’t say these victims died from bombs. They died because they were taken out into the street and murdered (AI report, ibid)—or murdered in their cells by gunshots.
Hamas accused the report of bias because it ignored “the systematic crimes perpetrated by the occupation against the Palestinian people” (ibid). This is also the ‘Palestinian’ way. They never commit war crimes; those crimes are always Israel’s fault.
Apparently, Hamas never learned that the general behaviour of a second party (Israel) never gives one the legal right to murder a third party.
Hamas said it would cooperate with local and international human rights organizations to do a proper investigation. For now, however, it drew its own conclusions: it bore no responsibility, it said, for the executions that took place in the Gaza Strip during the conflict. Israel bore sole responsibility—because, Hamas said, Israel had ‘recruited’ these victims in the first place (ibid).
Hamas failed to add that none of these victims had received a fair trial in open court with adequate representation. Instead, many had been sentenced to death before a ‘revolutionary court’ (AI report, ibid). Others were tortured. Others were ‘summarily’ killed (without any kind of formal trial or representation).
Hamas also ignored the fact that as many as 1/3rd of these victims were, according to AI, taken out to a mosque where, in front of hundreds of spectators—including children--they were murdered. According to eyewitness accounts, the victims were hooded and dragged along the floor to kneel by a wall facing the crowd. Each of the men was shot in the head individually. Then, all the corpses were sprayed with bullets fired from an AK-47 (ibid).
According to Hamas, that’s Israel’s fault.
You know, the next time you hear ‘Palestinians’ complain about ‘justice’ for ‘Palestinians’, you might want to think about how these ‘Palestinian’ victims got their ‘justice’. You might not like Israel. But you should remember that Israel never treats ‘Palestinians’ like this. But Hamas does.
You want Hamas and its unity- government partner the Palestinian Authority to triumph over the Israelis you love to hate? Be careful what you wish for.ow Hamas defends itself