Sunday, January 25, 2009

Palestinians criticize Hamas

Palestinian women. Photo by AP

Palestinians had hard questions for their leaders, saying, “rockets must end. What did we gain from them? How does Hamas explain thousands of casualties?”

"Our rockets are like pencils compared to those fired by Israel," said one woman in the devastated town of Beit Lahiya. Like many Gazans, she did not want to give her name when making unflattering remarks about the enclave's rulers.

A teacher, who would agree to be named only as Bassem and who is a Fatah supporter, said Hamas showed no regard for Gaza's people by firing rockets.

"Our people are too emotional," Bassem said. "Haniyeh just needs to speak at Friday prayers to patch up the damage, and you'll be surprised to see people clapping and cheering him."

Some Gazans criticised Hamas for continuing to fire rockets after the Israeli ceasefire announcement.

"We know their power was not destroyed, but at least give people a chance to breathe," said a taxi driver who again would not give his name out of fear. "Was what happened not enough?”

Read the article at Ynet

Gaza residents accuse the Islamic militants: “We were prevented from leaving the houses and they were shooting from there. They fired against or beat wildly those who tried to block the way to save their families. They were often children, 16 or 17 years, armed with machine guns.”

The Italian journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi who works with the Corriere della Serra, has confirmed Israeli allegations that Hamas had used civilians as human shields and used ambulances and United Nations buildings in the fighting. Those who tried to drive the terrorists away in order to protect their families were beaten.

Civilians told Cremonesi that they shouted at Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to leave the area to avoid drawing Israeli fire on civilians.

“Go, go out of here! Do you want the Israelis to kill us all? Do you want to see our children die under the bombs? Take away your weapons and missiles.”

The terrorists responded by calling them “traitors,” “collaborators,” “Spies” and “cowards,” and insisted that any civilians killed would be martyrs destined for paradise.

“In any case all will die, like us. Attacking the Jewish Zionists, we are all destined for paradise, you are not happy to die together?”

Civilians also reported that Hamas terrorists disguised themselves as paramedics and drove ambulances during the fighting. In addition, terrorists launched rockets from UN buildings.
Many of these actions are defined as war crimes.

"They knew they were weaker, but they wanted them [the Israelis] to fire on our houses, so they could accuse them of war crimes,” Abu Issa, 42 years, a resident in the neighbourhood of Tel Awa explained.

Cremonesi said it was difficult to gather evidence against Hamas because residents were fearful. Civilians feared that if it was known they spoke against the group, they would be harshly punished, he explained.

Read the article at Arutz Sheva
Original article at Corriere della Serra

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