Human Rights Watch on Thursday issued a report that censured Hamas for not investigating the deaths of seven men accused of collaboration with Israel.
The prisoners were publicly killed over two days in Gaza. The executions gained wider attention when images of the lifeless body of one of the men chained to a motorcycle and being dragged through the streets of Gaza City were aired around the world.
“The Gaza government has apparently not even begun a promised investigation more than four months after gunmen killed seven Palestinian prisoners accused of collaboration with Israel,” HRW wrote in an article published to its website.
“Hamas’s inability or unwillingness to investigate the brazen murders of seven men makes a mockery of its claims that it’s upholding the rule of law in Gaza,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Even before the killings, the abuses the men suffered made the criminal justice system a travesty, regardless of their guilt or innocence.”
She accused the government in Gaza of failing to take even basic steps toward identifying the killers.
“Months after seven Palestinians were murdered in broad daylight, seemingly with the collusion of security officials, the Hamas authorities in Gaza appear not to have lifted a finger to investigate, let alone to hold those responsible to account,” Whitson said.
“Hamas should be taking concrete steps to reform the criminal justice system and break the cycle of impunity that, as these men’s cases show, lets torturers and killers roam free.”