Gaza’s ruling Hamas placed dozens of members of the rival Fatah movement under house arrest during the Gaza war and shot several in the legs for not staying indoors, Fatah officials said Monday.
One of the shooting victims told The Associated Press that masked gunmen shot him in both legs in the yard outside his Gaza City home in late July, and that it will take him several months to recover from multiple fractures.
The Fatah allegations marked the first concrete sign of a Hamas crackdown on potential domestic dissent since fighting that began July 8.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denied the group put Fatah activists under house arrest as a policy, suggesting some Hamas members might have acted on their own. Barhoum did not address the shooting allegations.
The Fatah allegations come despite a power-sharing deal between Hamas and Fatah’s leader, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, earlier this year.
Since the start of the war, Hamas gunmen have ordered dozens of Fatah activists to stay in their homes for the duration of the fighting, said two spokesmen, Ahmed Assaf in Yehudah and Shomron and Hassan Ahmed in Gaza.
Assaf said some of those who Hamas believed had ignored those orders were shot in the legs. He said he did not have an exact number of shooting victims, but said several were being treated in hospitals. He said they did not want their names released because of fears of Hamas retribution upon their return to Gaza.