Rights group: Hamas kills, tortures foes
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Rights group: Hamas kills, tortures foes

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hamas systematically killed and tortured its opponents, Human Rights Watch reported.

The watchdog reported this week that the terrorist group had killed 32 opponents and maimed dozens of others during and after its recent war with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

“The spate of attacks began during Israel’s military operation, from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009, including the summary execution of 18 men in Gaza, most of them suspected collaborators with Israel,” the report said. “It has continued in the three months since, with 14 more killings, at least four of them of people in detention.”

Human Rights Watch rejected explanations from Hamas officials that such crimes were the exception and that some of those responsible faced charges.

“The systematic nature of many of the executions and attacks, and the fact that killings have continued after the Israeli offensive, undercut these assertions,” the rights group said.

Israel launched a military operation in late December after Hamas broke a cease-fire with a massive intensification of rocket attacks on southern Israel.