PA and Fatah Accuse Hamas of Using Human Shields
Grab the popcorn, folks, The PA and Fatah are joining the chorus that is criticizing Hamas for doing what Israel has shown them to be doing for years: human rights abuses, including using their own civilians as human shields.
After an explosion in Gaza City last month, the PA and Abbas’ Fatah Movement and others have criticized Hamas and other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip for their disregard for human life and use of civilians as human shields.
Fatah’s Awdah TV reported that human rights organizations as well as eyewitnesses had confirmed that the military wings of a number of factions in the Gaza Strip – i.e., terror organizations – had “placed bombs, explosives, and explosive materials near the homes of the civilians”:
Fatah-run Awdah TV host: “An explosion occurred in a popular market in the Al-Zeitoun neighborhood of the Gaza Strip, a place full of Palestinian civilians. A number of human rights committees and organizations, and also eyewitnesses and residents of the area confirmed that this storage area was used by the military wings of a number of factions in the Gaza Strip. This disregards the lives of the civilians, placing bombs, placing explosive devices, and explosives near the homes of the civilians and the homes of the Palestinians. [People] whose home was saved from the [Israeli] aggression (i.e., recent Hamas-Israeli war) unfortunately was not saved from the bombs of relatives… The human rights organizations are being accused of turning a blind eye on what is happening [in Gaza]… Crimes against people and against the Palestinian civilians. Crimes that we hear about every day: … The use of civilian buildings and sites to create explosive materials.”
[Fatah-run Awdah TV, July 24, 2021; Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, July 24, 2021]
An article published on the independent Palestinian news website Amad, which is affiliated with former top Fatah official Muhammad Dahlan, similarly criticized Hamas for storing live ammunition in markets relying on the knowledge that Israel would never bomb sites that are full of civilians:
“According to statements given by a number of residents living adjacent to the site of the incident, the house where the explosion took place serves as a weapons storehouse that belongs to Hamas…
Hamas is choosing popular markets as a secure place for its live ammunition storehouses, because the occupation forces cannot blow up the markets. This is because a wave of international rage would rise up against them if they targeted essential popular centers such as markets.”[Amad, independent Palestinian news website, July 22, 2021]
After the recent explosion, an editorial by the official PA daily likewise criticized Hamas for many systematic human rights abuses, in addition to storing weapons and explosives among civilians, thereby using people’s homes and markets as shields:
“[Hamas is] a militia that oppresses life in its most basic forms in the streets of the Gaza Strip. It oppresses [life] in its prisons through despicable torture, and it is difficult to enumerate the names of the victims here… Murder, oppression, arbitrary arrests, violent break-ins to search in houses, statements by Hamas – most of them on Facebook and Twitter – that contain nothing but threats against people who think to oppose and protest, and not only this:
Also the storage of weapons among people’s homes and in markets, without considering the elementary rules of safety. The proof of this is that some of them have already blown up and caused hundreds of victims, Martyrs, and wounded. We will not forget the explosion in the Nuseirat refugee camp [in 2020], and today we speak of the explosion in the Al-Zawiya market. Proven information confirms that it was caused by explosives stored in one of the houses in the market!”[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 27, 2021]
Of course, the PA and Fatah are no boy scouts themselves; they are people in glass houses – terrorists in suits to be more precise – who literally throw stones (and Molotov cocktails). Their criticism of Hamas here is to score political points. Nevertheless, it is always a positive development when terrorists organizations turn on each other.