The British government has today admitted that despite numerous, Hamas-induced human rights violations listed in a recent Amnesty International report, it has not raised the issues with government counterparts in the Palestinian territories.
The government risks being accused of hypocrisy, as many if not all alleged human rights violations levied at the State of Israel are routinely picked up on, and in the words of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, “representations” are often made to the Israeli government.
Last week saw the release of the Amnesty report which detailed how the terrorist group Hamas which runs the Gaza Strip used the cover of the war with Israel last summer to harass, abduct, torture, and kill Palestinian civilians – what Amnesty called “settling the score” with anti-Hamas activists.
The report states that Hamas killed at least 23 people, many of which had made false confessions under torture.
But despite the evidence, the British government has refused to raise the issue, as Lord Beecham found out yesterday after submitting a question on the matter. He asked: “…what representations [the government] have made to the Palestinian Authority in the light of the recent Amnesty International report on the conduct of Hamas in Gaza; and what response they have received, if any.”
He was told in response, by Baroness Anelay, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: “While we have not raised this issue with the Palestinian Authority (PA), we do raise issues related to Hamas conduct in Gaza with the PA on an ongoing basis. Since the formation of the interim technocratic government, we have supported Prime Minister Hamdallah’s efforts to return the PA to effective control of the Gaza Strip, which would allow the PA to take action to address such reports.”
Baroness Anelay’s comments reflect the unwillingness of the British government to criticise the Palestinian leadership. Her pivot, onto how much the government shows its support for the Palestinian Authority, as well as how it wants to enact regime change in Gaza, is indicative of a long-running campaign to ignore the urgent issues surrounding Hamas and its dictatorial rule in Gaza since 2006.
Amnesty said at the time of the report: “In one of the most shocking incidents, six men were publicly executed by Hamas forces outside al-Omari mosque on 22 August in front of hundreds of spectators including children. Hamas announced the men were suspected “collaborators” who had been sentenced death in “revolutionary courts”. The hooded men were dragged along the floor to kneel by a wall facing the crowd, then each man was shot in the head individually before being sprayed with bullets fired from an AK-47.”