Even as Gaza was being bombarded by Israel during the 50-day war last year, Palestinian militant outfit Hamas unleashed a horrific campaign of torture and killings on Palestinians, Amnesty International has revealed.
Hamas was hounding Palestinians as part of its 'Strangling Necks' operation at a time when the Palestinians were being attacked in Gaza by Israel under 'Operation Protective Edge' that killed more than 2,200 people.
Under the pretext of the Gaza conflict that began in July 2014 and continued till August, Hamas executed at least 23 Palestinians it accused of being 'collaborators' with Israel.
Hamas also abducted and tortured members and supporters of their political rival Fatah.
Among its most shocking crimes, which the rights group said amounted to war crimes, Hamas publicly executed six men outside the al-Omari mosque on 22 August, in front of hundreds of people that included children.
Hamas militias shot the men in the heads and then sprayed their bodies with bullets from AK-47s.
Amnesty also detailed the brutal killing of Atta Najjar, a police officer under Palestinian Authority, who was accused of being a 'collaborator'.
"There were marks of torture and bullet shots on his body. His arms and legs were broken... his body was as if you'd put it in a bag and smashed it... His body was riddled with about 30 bullets. He had slaughter marks around his neck, marks of knives... And from behind the head – there was no brain. Empty... It was difficult for us to carry him... He was heavy, like when you put meat in a bag; no bones. His bones were smashed. They broke him in the prison," the human rights group quoted his brother as saying.
Amnesty International said that no one has been held responsible for the brutalities committed by Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip.
"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," Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International said.
"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," he added.