maandag 16 maart 2009

Hamas terreur zaait angst in Gaza

Er zijn vreemd genoeg progressieve mensen, zelfbenoemde voorvechters van de mensenrechten, vrede en rechtvaardigheid, die Hamas een legitieme verzetsbeweging noemen, en er die geen problemen mee hebben om met Hamas sympathisanten samen in een demonstratie tegen Israel te lopen, waarbij deze symathisanten van alles in het Arabisch scanderen.

Hamas torture brings Gaza reign of fear
Jason Koutsoukis, Gaza
March 14, 2009
DALAL al-Shoubaki remembers the day Hamas sent its dreaded Internal Security Service to arrest her husband Hamza.
"It was July 25 last year. They came early in the day to our home and they took Hamza away without saying why," Mrs Shoubaki told The Age this week.
Three weeks ago, the tortured body of the father of 13 was found dumped at Gaza's Shifa Hospital, with two gunshot wounds to the head.
From the types of twigs and leaves found on his clothes, Mr Shoubaki's family believe he was executed in a citrus grove on the outskirts of Gaza City.
Mr Shoubaki had been accused of collaborating with the Government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah faction holds power in the West Bank. Mr Shoubaki was a vocal supporter of Fatah, and was in almost daily phone contact with his brother, a senior officer in the Government.
His fate is a chilling example of the terror inflicted on dissenters who have lived under the Hamas regime in Gaza since June 2007.
"In 2007, the death toll of Palestinians killed by Fatah or Hamas exceeded for the first time the number of Palestinians killed in clashes with the Israeli occupation forces," said Hamdi Shaqqura from the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
According to figures cited by Mr Shaqqura, 394 Palestinians were killed in clashes with the Israeli military and security forces in 2007, but at least 500 were killed by forces aligned with either Fatah or Hamas.
Mr Shaqqura said Mr Shoubaki's execution was just one of many that followed a similar pattern. "We are talking mostly about barbaric acts of revenge and retaliation. Human rights abuses are witnessed every day here. People have no freedom of association or right to assembly, no freedom of speech, or access to an independent justice system."
At the time of his arrest, Mr Shoubaki, 40, a plumber by training, was working as a fruit and vegetable seller to support his family.
Mrs Shoubaki said that for four months after he was taken away, she could get no explanation of why he had been detained or where he was being held. Then, in early December, he called, saying he was being held in an Internal Security Service compound at al-Saraya, near Gaza City.
Mrs Shoubaki describes her shock when she visited him. "At first I nearly didn't recognise him. There were many signs of torture. He was pale and bruised and he had trouble walking."
He had been regularly punched and kicked, intermittently deprived of food and sleep, hung from the ceiling for hours on end — by his feet and his arms, and on one case from the ceiling for several hours by one arm. Mrs Shoubaki said her husband had also been electrocuted and repeatedly had a gun held to his head to try to force a confession.
"He said he had also been brought before the military court on a several occasions, but they were never able to prove anything about Hamza."
Several days after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27, the jail where Mr Shoubaki was being held was hit by Israeli fire, giving inmates a chance to escape. He fled, but was picked up the same day by Hamas militants.
They shot him through the back of both legs below the knee, then pushed him out of a car in the Sheikh Ejlin neighbourhood, south-west of Gaza City.
"When he came to us, he was barely alive," Mrs Shoubaki said. "But after one month of medical treatment at home, and support from our families, he regained some of his health and was able to stand up and walk again."
In early February, intent on tracking down anyone they believed had collaborated with either Israel or the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, the Internal Security Service launched a search for him.
"On February 4 and February 18, a number of gunmen came to our house asking about my husband, but we had moved him and he was not at home."
On February 26, almost seven months to the day since his first arrest, Mr Shoubaki decided to move again to what he thought he would be a safer location, but at 10pm that day, masked gunmen stormed his new hide-out.
"Around 8am the next day, a relative of Hamza's received a phone call from the Shifa Hospital to come and identify a man who was now in the morgue. It was Hamza. He had been shot twice in the head," Mrs Shoubaki said.
Surrounded by her children, Mrs Shoubaki betrays no sign of fear. "I am not afraid. I want justice. I want what happened to my husband to happen to the people who killed him."
The Hamas Government's official spokesman, Taher al-Nunu, declined to comment. "I have no knowledge at all of this case," he said.
Mr Shaqqura at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights believes there is little chance that Mr Shoubaki's killers will ever be known.
"Hamas own the justice system here in Gaza," he said. "Why would they ever prosecute themselves?"
On Friday, January 30, Mr Shaqqura, 51, a resident of the Khan Younis refugee camp, was summoned to a local sports club where he was told he had to testify in a case he said he knew nothing about. At 6.30am the next day, his brother received a call from Nasser hospital saying Mr Shaqqura had been admitted unconscious. He was pronounced dead on February 6 from what doctors described as a "brain clot caused by torture and severe beating to his head".
On February 6, masked gunmen claiming to be police officers arrested Mr Dabbaka, 47, at his home in the Maghazi refugee camp. Three days later he showed up dead in hospital. His body also bore clear signs of torture on the feet, back, hands, ears and the front of his torso.
On January 8, midway through the Israeli offensive, masked Hamas security agents showed up at the home of Mr Buri, 39, at the Shati refugee camp.
Claiming to be police officers, they dragged him to a jeep. About half an hour later he was dumped near his home, having been severely beaten. He died of his injuries on February 7.

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