by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Jan. 29, 2009
Members of a Gaza family whose farm was turned into a "fortress" by Hamas fighters have reported that they were helpless to stop Hamas from using them as human shields. They told the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper that for years Hamas has used their property and homes for military installations from which to launch rockets into Israel, dig tunnels and store arms. According to the victims, those who tried to object were shot in the legs by Hamas.
The following are excerpts from the article from the official Palestinian Authority daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:
"The Abd Rabbo family kept quiet while Hamas fighters turned their farm in the Gaza strip into a fortress. Right now they are waiting for the aid promised by the [Hamas] movement after Israel bombed the farm and turned it into ruins...
The hill on which the Abd Rabbo family lives overlooks the Israeli town Sderot, a fact that turned it into an ideal military position for the Palestinian fighters, from which they have launched hundreds of rockets into southern Israel during the last few years. Several of the Abd Rabbo family members described how the fighters dug tunnels under their houses, stored arms in the fields and launched rockets from the yard of their farm during the nights.
The Abd Rabbo family members emphasize that they are not [Hamas] activists and that they are still loyal to the Fatah movement, but that they were unable to prevent the armed squads from entering their neighborhood at night. One family member, Hadi (age 22) said: "You can't say anything to the resistance [fighters], or they will accuse you of collaborating [with Israel] and shoot you in the legs."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 27, 2009]
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Jan. 19, 2009
On the first day of its ceasefire with Israel, Hamas has added a new element to its propaganda campaign claiming that it won the war in Gaza. An animated film for children on Hamas TV depicts Israeli soldiers as cowards who are afraid to enter Gaza. They cry, "Mommy, Mommy," as they head into battle, where they are all killed by Hamas gunfire.
The video ends with an Israeli soldier's blood splattered on the screen, accompanied by a caption that reads, "Whoever dares, let him come! Gaza is his certain death."
Observers have reported that hundreds of Hamas fighters were killed in the conflict, while Israel lost 10 soldiers in combat and three civilians in rocket attacks. However, in the attempt to present this war as a victory, Hamas TV reported today that Hamas lost only 48 fighters and killed 80 Israelis, including 49 soldiers.
This film aims to reinforce the victory myth that Hamas is trying to sell to its people.
Hamas has murdered "dozens of Fatah members" in the Gaza Strip for merely violating the Hamas-imposed house arrest. According to the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida the atrocities, which also included shooting people in the legs, has created a backlash in the West Bank and caused "anger, which influenced the level of popular activities carried out in solidarity with the Gaza residents in the towns Ramallah and El-Bira."
In addition, the popular Palestinian singer, Jamal Najar, condemned Hamas as "gangs of anarchic security forces," describing how Hamas murdered his cousin right in front of his children for simply stepping outside. [PA TV (Fatah)]
The following are excerpts from the article in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and the transcript of the words of Jamal Najar:
Headline: "Reports of persecutions and liquidation of Fatah members by Hamas members evoke anxiety and condemnation in the West Bank."
Reports mentioning liquidations of Fatah members in the Gaza Strip by members of Hamas evoked popular condemnation which was added yesterday to the erupting anger, which influenced the level of popular activities carried out in solidarity with the Gaza residents in the towns Ramallah and El-Bira.
The reports from Gaza pointed out the death of dozens of Fatah members caused by Hamas members. A prominent leader stated that isolated random incidents of murder have occurred, but ruled out that this is a case of organized persecution.
Wafa A-Najar, Gaza resident who lives in the town El-Bira, said that her father was killed the day before yesterday and nine of her family members were injured by shooting by Hamas, among them were three small children and two young people in critical condition...
According to the family's story, a squad belonging to Hamas came to her family's house in [the] Sheikh Radwan [neighborhood] in Gaza and shot at the legs of young Badran A-Najar, claiming that he was violating the house arrest which was imposed on him, at the time when he was sitting with his cousins in front of the house...
A prominent leader in the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, Ibrahim Abu A-Naja, ruled out that this is a case of persecution by some organization, which aims at Fatah, however he pointed out that "a number of isolated incidents [of murder]" had occurred, as has been reported by the Israeli media...
Abu A-Naja called for Hamas to halt any step which provides Israel the opportunity to attack us...
Groups within the Fatah movement in the West Bank estimated that more than a hundred of its people in the Gaza Strip had been exposed to persecution, shooting, and liquidation."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2009]
Jamal Najar, popular Palestinian singer:
"I express my condolences to my cousins, some of them were killed yesterday by the gangs of the anarchic [Hamas] security forces in the Gaza Strip... The father was killed right in front of his children, because he didn't stay at home, after they placed him under house arrest, he and everyone who belongs to Fatah."
[PA TV (Fatah) Jan. 6, 2009]
Hamas Interior Minister Said Siam, who was killed today by Israeli forces, was one of the Hamas leaders who publicly promoted the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in order to hold them hostage and exchange them for Palestinian prisoners. Siam's plan was put into action when Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in June 2006. Shalit is still being held hostage in Gaza.
The following is the statement by Siam before the Shalit kidnapping, detailing his program for Hamas to kidnap Israeli soldiers and hold them as hostages.
Said Siam, Hamas Interior Minister
"In the past Hamas succeeded in kidnapping many Zionist soldiers.
There are thousands of prisoners of our forces, they have to think how to free these prisoners. And I believe that it is inevitable to kidnap soldiers to exchange for them.
In the past Hamas kidnapped 10 soldiers.
There is nothing the resistance cannot do. And when there is a goal and a good plan, the goal can be achieved, especially about the prisoner issue, [which] is top priority.
During the PA administration, Hamas succeeded in kidnapping and hiding bodies, but unfortunately, two bodies were handed over for nothing. When there is a kidnapping, and it is secured, each case in its own time has its own negotiations."
[Undated video clip from Abu Dhabi TV - before Hamas came into power]
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Jan. 13, 2009
A child in Gaza describes how he and other children are being used in combat support roles for Hamas fighters. According to the Palestinian child, children are being used as scouts to follow Israeli movements, and as couriers to supply ammunition and deliver information to the Hamas fighters.
The following is the description of the children's combat support roles, quoted in an Israeli Arab weekly:
"[The newspaper] Kul Al-Arab called many Gaza Strip residents, to comprehend the situation of the people who are suffering for two weeks from the wild Israeli aggression...
Khaled, from A-Rimal [in Gaza], said: 'We the children, in small groups and in civilian clothes, are fulfilling missions of support for the [Hamas] Resistance fighters, by transmitting messages about the movements of the enemy forces, or by bringing them ammunition and food. We ourselves are not aware of the movements of the Resistance fighters. We see them in one place, they suddenly disappear, and then reappear somewhere else. They are like ghosts, it is very hard to find them or hurt them.'"
[Kul-Al-Arab (Israeli Arab weekly), January 9, 2009]