The Associated Press has reported on a "secretive Hamas campaign to catch Palestinians spying for Israel," which has "ensnared some prominent Gaza residents, drawn unusual criticism, and highlighted the group's deep fears about being penetrated by agents of the Jewish state." To those who have tracked Hamas governance in the Gaza Strip, however, this action comes as no surprise.
According to the Jerusalem Post:
"Human rights workers who are in frequent touch with security officials estimate that more than 20 low-level Hamas operatives have also been rounded up as suspected collaborators in the September arrests. Detainees have been denied access to lawyers or family visits."
Such suspicions and harsh crackdowns have become standard within the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The terrorist organization has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards so-called "collaborators with the Zionist entity." In April, the terrorist organization executed two men by firing squad after they were "found guilty of working with Israel."
The vicious crackdown on Palestinian civilians is not limited to these extrajudicial killings, however. The organization has implemented wide-ranging policies aimed at Islamizing the Gaza Strip. The terrorist group has ordered lingerie shops to display "more modesty," in their wares; banned women from smoking hookah in cafes saying such actions "destroys marriages and sullies the image of the Palestinian people;" and shut down businesses that did not comply with the laws.
And Hamas has tried to prevent word of its actions from making its way into mainstream press. It recently blocked human rights activists from operating in the Gaza Strip, and prevented reporters from entering the area unless they agreed to sign a document stating that they would not criticize the government.
Despite all of this, criticism of Hamas remains practically non-existent. We previously reported on the double standard applied to actions undertaken by Israel and Hamas with respect to the Palestinian population of Israel, concluding that:
"while Israel is castigated for its actions, when it comes to Hamas aggression against the Palestinian people, the silence from American-Muslim organizations is deafening."