Amnesty International has accused Islamist group Hamas of executing and brutalizing dozens of Palestinians during its 2014 war with Israel. Hamas reportedly targeted suspected collaborators.
Rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Islamist group Hamas of potential war crimes, using its 2014 Gaza war with Israel to "settle scores" with rival Palestinians through murder, abductions and torture.
The London-based group issued a report detailing a "brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of 'collaborating' with Israel." Amnesty claims Hamas killed at least 23 Palestinians and tortured dozens of others.
"It is absolutely appalling that, while Israeli forces were inflicting massive death and destruction upon the people in Gaza, Hamas forces took the opportunity to ruthlessly settle scores, carrying out a series of unlawful killings and other grave abuses," Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa director Phillip Luther said.
Israel went to war with Gaza militants last summer in an attempt to put an end to cross-border rocket and mortar fire. The 50-day conflict left nearly 2,200 mainly civilian Palestinians dead and killed 73 on the Israeli side.
In a December report, Amnesty accused Israel of committing war crimes during its military campaign against Gaza.
The current report detailed a number of cases in which alleged collaborators with Israel were tortured or killed. Luther charged Hamas of "appalling crimes against powerless individuals," of which some instances constituted war crimes.
"The de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip," Amnesty said.
Hamas is also alleged to have abducted, tortured or attacked members of Fatah, their main rival political organization within Gaza.
"Not a single person has been held accountable for the crimes committed by Hamas forces against Palestinians during the 2014 conflict, indicating that these crimes were either ordered or condoned by the authorities," the report said.
Representatives for Hamas have not yet issued comment on the Amnesty report.
bw/rc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)