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Hamas calls for probe into ‘executions’ blamed on Israel
Published on: Sunday, December 24, 2023
By: AFP
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Hamas calls for probe into ‘executions’ blamed on Israel
Hamas claimed that the Israeli army had carried out the summary execution of 137 Palestinian civilians since October 7.
GAZA CITY: The Palestinian militant group Hamas yesterday called for an international investigation into “summary executions” that it accused the Israeli army of committing in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip.

Hamas claimed in a statement to have gathered testimonies showing “the Israeli army had carried out the summary execution of 137 Palestinian civilians” in the northern Gaza Strip, including Gaza City, since the start of Israel’s ground offensive on October 7.

The group accused the Israeli army of “digging a large pit east of Gaza City and placing dozens of detained citizens in it before executing them and filling up the pit”.

AFP could not independently verify the claims.

When reached by AFP for comment, the Israeli military said in a statement that it was “currently unaware of the incident described” and insisted on more details to “produce a clearer picture”.

The army, the statement added, was “at war with the Hamas terrorist organisation who has proven that they do not value truth or accuracy”.

Earlier Saturday, the Hamas health ministry said dozens of Palestinians were killed this week and publicly “executed” during an Israeli military operation in the northern town of Jabalia.

UN concern

The Israeli army did not directly comment on those allegations but said it ensured that its “strikes against military targets comply with the provisions of international law”.

On Wednesday, the United Nations human rights office said it had received “disturbing” reports that Israeli troops had “summarily killed” at least 11 unarmed Palestinians in a possible war crime in Gaza.

The killings were alleged to have been carried out in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City this week, it added, calling on Israel to open an investigation.

An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, rejected the allegations as “yet another example of the partisan and prejudiced approach against Israel” by the UN body.

The claims were “nothing but blood libel”, the official added.

At least 20,258 people — most of them women and children — have been killed in Gaza since the start of the Israeli army’s offensive, according to Hamas.

The war was launched in retaliation for the unprecedented attack carried out on October 7 by Hamas, which left around 1,140 dead in southern Israel, the majority civilians, according to the authorities.

Palestinian militants also abducted around 250 people, 129 of whom Israel says are still in the Gaza Strip. 

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