by Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute—
Hamas, the Iranian-backed terrorist movement controlling the Gaza Strip, is often one of the first Palestinian groups to condemn Israel for demolishing homes of terrorists or Palestinian-owned houses built illegally in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
While international human rights groups and the European Union have also been condemning Israel, they are ignoring home demolitions carried out by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
In the past 10 years, Hamas has demolished not only houses, but also a mosque — a move that has received almost no attention from the international media and human rights organizations or the EU.
On May 11, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem denounced as a “war crime” the demolition by the Israeli military of the house belonging to Qassam Barghouti in the village of Kubar, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Barghouti was a member of a terrorist cell responsible for the murder of 17-year-old Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb in August 2019. She was killed by a roadside bomb while hiking with her father, Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, and brother Dvir near the settlement of Dolev. Her father and brother were wounded in the attack.
Barghouti’s mother, Widad, announced that her greatest achievement was giving birth to a hero. “I say to , to all of them , that we are proud of you,” she said. “If we want to talk about our achievements as mothers, then the most important achievement that we have made in our lives is that we gave birth to heroes such as these.”
Four days after the demolition of Barghouti’s home, Hamas bulldozers demolished a house under construction in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. Hamas has justified the demolition by arguing that the house was being built without a proper permit.
According to eyewitnesses, dozens of Hamas militiamen armed with batons and electric batons accompanied the bulldozers as they demolished the house belonging to the Sha’ath family.
The witnesses accused the Hamas members of beating women and children and hurling abuse at other members of the family during the demolition.
In a statement, the Sha’ath family condemned Hamas’s assault on the home of one of its sons. “Hundreds of Hamas members attacked the Shout neighborhood of Khan Yunis,” the statement said.
“The attack resulted in the injury of dozens of family members. We hold Hamas responsible for this dangerous escalation. We won’t stand idly by about what happened. Hamas practices the most brutal methods of repression and persecution against the people of the Gaza Strip who criticize its behavior.”
In February, Hamas notified 50 families in the suburb of Al-Amal in Khan Yunis that their homes would be destroyed on the pretext that they were built without a license. The families were instructed to evacuate their homes within two weeks. “Instead of building us new homes, Hamas is demolishing Palestinians’ houses,” the residents said. “We have no place to go. We prefer to die under the rubble of our houses together with our children.”
This was the fourth demolition of its kind by Hamas since the beginning of the year.
Two weeks after the demolition of the Sha’ath home, Hamas demolished a house belonging to an elderly widow from the al-Shinawwi family in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians pointed out that the demolition took place during the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan. Continue Reading….