[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Wednesday accused [press release] Hamas forces of leading a series of abductions, torturous acts and unlawful killings against Palestinians. AI’s report [report] documents the human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings often condoned by largely unaccountable Hamas authorities. Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, Philip Luther, stated:
In the chaos of the conflict, 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.
The watchdog group characterized this series of actions as a “brutal campaign” against the law of humanity and called on Palestinian authorities, including the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza, to cooperate with current and future international investigative efforts and to document future human rights abuses in order to ensure justice is served.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine [JURIST news archives] has lasted for years and caused [BBC timeline] numerous casualties on both sides. In March the Israel Law Center [advocacy website] petitioned [JURIST report] to the US Department of Justice to prosecute several Hamas leaders for their involvement in the attack on Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport last summer, which lead to the deaths of hundreds of civilians. Following the 2014 attack, the UN was compelled to institute a commission [JURIST report] to investigate human rights violations. In January the Israel Law Center filed a complaint [JURIST report] with the ICC, accusing Palestinian leaders of war crimes including torture, terrorism and civil rights violations. In December AI declared that Israel’s air-strikes [JURIST report] on landmark buildings in Gaza were deliberate war crimes that led to the injury of many civilians. In September the Israel Law Center asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to open an investigation [JURIST report] into war crimes allegedly committed by Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal [BBC profile].