GAZA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – A Palestinian man on Thursday accused Islamist Hamas militants in control of the Gaza Strip of torturing and killing his brother for publicly criticising them.
Osama Atallah, a teacher, was a supporter of the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the sworn enemy of Hamas, whose gunmen drove Fatah militia out of Gaza in 2007 and fought Israel’s army in a three-week war this month.
His brother Bassam said masked gunmen in two jeeps arrived at the family home in the city of Gaza on Tuesday. They identified themselves as members of Hamas internal security and they arrested his brother Osama.
Bassam said the Hamas security service told the Atallah family Osama would be released in a matter of hours. But a Hamas government official, who is also a member of the Atallah family, later denied the teacher was in custody.
The family subsequently received a telephone call from hospital that Osama Atallah was in critical condition.
He later died of his wounds.
Ten Israeli soldiers died in the 22-day offensive, including four in a “friendly fire” accident. About 1,300 Palestinians were killed, according to a Gaza human rights group, of whom over 700 were civilians.
Many older Gaza Palestinians scoffed at a claim of “victory” by Hamas once the fighting was halted on Jan 18.
Fatah sources said Osama Atallah, a Fatah activist, had been threatened by Hamas “because of h… >>>