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Hamas Accused of Torturing, Killing Gaza Critic

A Palestinian man has accused Hamas militants of torturing and killing his brother for publicly criticizing them, Reuters reported on Thursday. The alleged victim, Osama Atallah, was a school teacher who supported the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a sworn enemy of Hamas.

According to the victim’s brother Bassam, Osama was arrested by masked gunmen identifying themselves as members of Hamas internal security. As Reuters reports, Osama’s family was told he would be released in a matter of hours, but they later received a telephone call from a hospital informing them that Osama was in critical condition. He later died.

Fatah sources told Reuters that Osama was a Fatah activist who had been threatened by Hamas "because of his public and continued criticism of the performance of the Hamas militias in Gaza." They went on to accuse Hamas of "severely torturing and then strangling" Osama.

A Hamas government official has denied that Osama was ever taken into custody, although security officials have admitted to detaining people suspected of spying for Israel during the recent battles in Gaza.

According to Reuters, “Hamas in Gaza has not confirmed killing collaborators. But an Arab newspaper has carried a statement by an exiled Hamas official confirming that the group killed several.”

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