The terrorist organization Hamas has allegedly killed and tortured dozens of people accused of being "collaborators" with Israel, according to the Guardian. It states that the killings occurred during and after the recent war in Gaza.
Amnesty International reports that many of the abducted victims were killed and then dumped in isolated areas or found in hospital morgues.
Hamas gunmen have shot dead at least two dozen men since the end of December last year. In the same period, scores of others have been shot in the legs, subjected to severe beatings which caused multiple fractures and other injuries, or otherwise tortured or ill-treated, according to evidence given to Amnesty International.
Hamas' deadly campaign took place during and after the Israeli military offensive that killed some 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians. The campaign began shortly after the beginning of the three-week Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip at the end of December 2008 and continued after a ceasefire took effect on 18 January 2009.
The targets include former detainees accused of "collaborating" with the Israeli army who escaped from Gaza's central prison when it was bombed by Israeli forces on 28 December 2008. Other targets included former members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and other activists of the Fatah party.
The Guardian explains the motivation behind the murder campaign:
Hamas apparently fears it lost some of its control in Gaza during Israel's devastating three-week war and launched a new and violent crackdown to enforce its rule, targeting not only those suspected of giving information to the Israeli military but also escaped prisoners and all perceived internal opponents.
In an interview today, one Palestinian working for a civil society organisation described how he was forced to leave Gaza because of the growing intimidation and threats. Mowaffaq Alami, 36, worked for the One Voice organisation in Gaza promoting grassroots discussions about Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals.
An AP report explains that supporters of Fatah, Hamas' political opponent, are also being targeted and tortured:
Hamas and Fatah engaged in months of brutal battles before Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007. During the internal fighting, both sides were involved in killings and kidnappings, including kneecapping opponents or in some cases even throwing them off high-rise buildings.
In the latest accusations of score-settling by Hamas during the Israeli offensive, Fatah says some of its members were killed, others shot in the arms or legs and many placed under house arrest that prevented them from fleeing areas under Israeli attack.
Hamas has denied any involvement by members of its security services, but acknowledges that Hamas fighters targeted suspected informers for Israel.