RAMALLAH, Saturday, March 16, 2019 (WAFA) – The Ramallah-based Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) said Hamas forces attacked its staff in Gaza because they were doing their job of monitoring and reporting Hamas crackdown on the street protests.
ICHR director Ammar Dweik said that Hamas forces attacked and severely beat the director of its Gaza branch, Jamil Sarhan, and its attorney, Baker Turkman, and seized their cellular phones.
He said Hamas wants to silence rights groups who are monitoring the protests that have been raging in Gaza streets over the past couple of days against high prices and tax hikes.
“We are deeply alarmed and shocked by the way our staff in Gaza were treated,” he told Palestine TV, pointing out that this is the first time in 25 years since the ICHR was established that its staff is treated in such a manner, which leads it to reconsider its work in Gaza.
He that while this is the way human rights defenders are treated, what is actually happening to the normal person in the street is a lot worse.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate has also condemned Hamas attack on journalists and said that reporters covering the protests were attacked in the streets and at their homes and their equipment was seized.
It said Hamas acted brutally toward the protesters and journalists, causing many injuries.
Medical sources said over 70 people were treated in Gaza hospitals since yesterday of beating by Hamas militias and that some of them were later removed and taken away from hospitals by the militias.
Calls were made for a general strike today in Gaza to protest Hamas crackdown on the demonstrations as well as