Rights group: Hamas abuses Palestinians in Gaza

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JERUSALEM — An international rights group said today that Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip commit rampant abuses against Palestinian prisoners, including beatings with metal clubs and rubber hoses, mock executions and arbitrary arrests, and urged the Islamic militant group to swiftly reform its criminal justice system.

In a new 43-page report, Human Rights Watch documented a long list of abuses that it said Palestinians in Gaza endure under the justice system run by Hamas, which has ruled the seaside strip for the past five years.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 after street battles with the Palestinian’s Western-backed secular Fatah party. Since then the Palestinians have been split between Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, which governs the West Bank.

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