Som en reaksjon på nederlaget for Israel har Hamas behov for syndebukker. Fatah-sympatisører blir kidnappet, fengslet og mishandlet. Den vanligste metoden er å skyte folk i kneet og ned gjennom benet slik at benet splintres.
Yasser Abd Rabbo, an ally of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said at a news conference in Ramallah on Thursday that Hamas had «turned its rifles in the direction of Fatah members» after Israel stopped its military offensive on Sunday. Mr. Rabbo accused Hamas of placing Fatah supporters under house arrest and shooting some of them in the legs, an intimidation tactic that it used in the past.
A Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, strongly denied the accusation, saying that Fatah was raising the issue to distract attention from the fact that it remained on the sidelines and did not challenge Israel during the three weeks of fighting in Gaza.
A Palestinian human rights worker, who was granted anonymity because of the delicacy of the topic and the preliminary nature of his findings, said he had received reports of about 30 cases of abuse, including as many as five killings. He said he had not yet been able to verify each case.