Hamas rejects Amnesty report over Gaza violations
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, on Thursday rejected accusations by an international rights group that the Islamic movement violated the laws of war during Israel's recent offensive to the enclave, reported Xinhua.
In a 117-page report, Amnesty international accused Israel of committing war crimes in its military operation in Gaza, killing as many as 1,400 Palestinians in a three-week assault started on December 27, 2008.
But the London-based organization also accused Hamas of killing three Israeli civilians by firing rockets indiscriminately from Gaza during the Operation Cast Lead.
"Hamas rejects all the accusation made against it in Amnesty's report," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, in a news conference. "instead of publishing such reports, those murderers ( Israelis) should have been taken to court for trial," he added.
Moreover, Hamas said the report, which is the first in-depth study of the parties' conduct of hostilities during Gaza offensive, "was unfair and unbalanced since it puts the victim and executioner on an equal footing," according to Abu Zuhri.
Though the report finds Israel guilty, it is still unprofessional because Amnesty "haven't met or heard from any of Hamas' leaders," Abu Zuhri continued.
The report also called for stopping arms shipments from reaching Hamas, implicitly urging Egypt, which borders the Gaza Strip, to increase security measures along the borders to prevent underground smuggling of weapons.
"This call aims at expanding the list of accusations against Hamas to incite international parties not to deal with Hamas and to tighten the blockade on Gaza," Abu Zuhri said.