Shocking Crackdown by Hamas

Since Thursday 14th March hundreds of civilians have been protesting in locations around the Gaza Strip against the intolerable living conditions and the deteriorating economy that have developed under the Hamas regime.

Such significant protests have not been seen since 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza; and the response has been brutal.

Photo of protest from FacebookA photo of the protests posted on facebook.

Videos shared on social media show security personnel beating protesters and firing live ammunition to clear the streets. A spokesman for Amnesty International said:

“The crackdown on freedom of expression and the use of torture in Gaza has reached alarming
new levels. Over the past few days, we have seen shocking human rights violations carried
out by Hamas security forces
against peaceful protesters, journalists and rights workers.”

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, tweeted:

I condemn the Hamas violence in Gaza against protesters, women,
children, journalists & human rights activists.

Raf Sanchez, Middle East correspondent for the Telegraph, posted one of the many videos that clearly show the use of live fire by Hamas security forces.

Video of Hamas violenceA video of the protests posted on Twitter by Raf Sanchez.

Al Jazeera reported a human rights researcher with the Independent Commission of Human Rights as saying:

“The security forces, which the public prosecution abetted by preventing media coverage, violently beat up, detained and broke into civilian homes under the pretext that protesters threw stones.”

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemned the actions of Hamas against peaceful protesters as: ‘a crime and violation according to the national and international laws.’

It also called upon them to ‘immediately and unconditionally release the dozens of detainees.’

Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, said that Atef Abu Seif, a spokesman for Fatah in Gaza, was beaten by a group of men. Pictures showed him with his head bandaged and his clothes speckled with blood. The deputy chairman of Fatah accused Hamas of trying to assassinate him.

Other reports revealed many violent responses by Hamas security forces, breaking up gatherings and arresting dozens of journalists, rights workers and ordinary civilians.

Mounir Kleibo, Director of the International Labour Organisation, stated that unemployment and poverty rates in the Gaza Strip have reached record highs recently.

But like many others he sought to blame the Israelis for the problems, rather than Hamas’ use of vast resources to pursue its campaign of terror against Israel.