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GAZA: Hamas blamed for executions

April 20, 2009 |  6:30 am

Hamas militants

Human Rights Watch has condemned the radical group Hamas, saying the group killed, tortured and maimed at least 32 Palestinian political opponents and suspected collaborators during the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip in January.

In a new 26-page report, "Under Cover of War: Hamas Political Violence in Gaza," the rights organization claims that between Dec. 27, 2008, and Jan. 18, 2009, Hamas security forces executed 18 men, most believed to have been Israeli collaborators. Another 14 men, many of them alleged political opponents, have been killed since late January.

“During Israel’s attack on Gaza, Hamas moved violently against its political opponents and those deemed collaborators with Israeli forces,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division. “The unlawful arrests, torture and killings in detention continued even after the fighting stopped, mocking Hamas’ claims to uphold the law.”

Read the full report here.

-- Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo

Photo: Hamas militants. Credit: Reuters