Islamic Compassion: Family who lost Their Father / Husband to Gaza’s Motorcycle Lynch Mob Is Convinced He Wasn’t an Israeli Spy

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Tearful and scared, the three-year-old girl knows little of what lies behind the tension and turmoil gripping her homeland.

She merely holds tight a picture of her father the way she will want to remember him.

The youngster will certainly do best to forget the images that so shocked the world last week.

For even in a land synonymous with violence, the way her father died seemed unusually inhumane.

Publicly executed minutes earlier as an alleged ‘spy for Israel’, his body was dragged through Gaza City by men on motorcycles, waving pistols triumphantly in the air.

Tearful and terrified: Three–year-old Baraa (whose name means Innocence), clutches a picture of her father who was publicly executed and dragged through streets of Gaza by a motorcycle lynch mob

Substitute horses for bikes, noted one witness, and it could almost have been a scene from the Crusades.

Along with five others, the ‘collaborator’ was killed on Tuesday for allegedly providing intelligence to enable Israel to pinpoint attack targets. He was shot twice and then ‘finished off’ with a blow from a heavy rock.

His family, neighbours and friends believe the notion that he spied for Israel is absurd – and there is much that supports their view, not least that as a prisoner Badawi was under armed guard during last week’s conflict.

Horrific: Palestinian gunmen ride motorcycles as they drag the body of executed Ribhi Badawi, a Palestinian prisoner in Gaza suspected of working for Israel

Badawi was a member of the Islamist group Jaljalat – Thunder – which takes its inspiration from Al Qaeda and is more hardline than Hamas.

He had been in prison since 2009 when he was arrested on terrorism charges. It was alleged he was one of several fighters planning to launch attacks on Hamas.

Badawi’s family claim that while in prison, he was tortured until he confessed to being a traitor.

‘Ribhi was a proud Palestinian. He loved his country with a rare passion and he was more opposed to Israeli occupation than Hamas is,’ said his widow Kholoud.

Grieving: Mr Badawi’s wife Kholoud with four of his children at their home in the Radwan district of Gaza

To see the body of my dear husband dragged through the streets like an animal is truly terrible. The men who did this were wild.’

Amid dizzying confusion at the height of the eight-day conflict, there were sketchy reports that the traitors were caught ‘red-handed’ with ‘high-tech filming equipment’.

Beyond this, nothing else was known: not their identities nor the precise nature of any evidence against them.

The Mail on Sunday can today reveal that the dead man in the picture is 37-year-old father-of-five Ribhi Badawi, a Palestinian prisoner in Gaza.

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