July 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Critic Badly Beaten in Gaza by Masked Men

July 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Critic Badly Beaten in Gaza by Masked Men

Latest Developments

A Gaza-based activist who opposes Hamas was badly beaten on July 8 by two dozen masked men wielding batons and knives. The assailants, who claimed they were representatives of Hamas’s Internal Security Force, attacked the 35-year-old activist, Amin Abed, and fired shots in the air to deter bystanders who tried to intervene. Abed was subsequently hospitalized with fractures to his skull, hands, and feet. According to his father, Salah Abed, who detailed the attack in a Facebook post without saying who was responsible, Amin was set upon while walking home, the Associated Press reported. A known critic of Hamas, Abed was an organizer of the 2019 protests in Gaza against the harsh economic conditions imposed by Hamas rule. Immediately prior to the attack, Abed had published an Arabic-language post on Facebook criticizing Hamas’s mass attack on Israel on October 7, accusing the Iran-backed terrorist group of being willing to “sacrifice every child in Gaza” in order to remain in power.

Expert Analysis

“The attack on Amin Abed is part of a pattern of Hamas brutality against Gazans. Hamas has become more extreme in its attack on dissidents in Gaza as the Iranian-backed terrorist group fears losing power in Gaza. Its reign of terror across nearly two decades has plunged Gaza into endless wars, which serve to profit Hamas as it exploits the cycles of destruction and reconstruction to its financial advantage.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Hamas has a well-documented history of suppressing dissent within the Palestinian population, often resorting to violence against those who dare to challenge its authority. Thus, the brutal assault on a Hamas critic should not come as a shock, particularly as the group struggles to maintain its grip on power amidst a prolonged and intense Israeli military operation.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas Escalates Attacks on Critics and Ordinary Gazans

The attack on Abed is part of a wider pattern of Hamas assaults on critics and opponents since it launched its war on Israel on October 7. In December 2023, a Hamas member killed a young man accused of stopping an aid truck Hamas police had seized. Hamas also executed the leader of a Gazan clan in March 2024. On July 5, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) posted footage obtained from Gaza of Hamas beating civilians who were seeking food. Meanwhile, the attack on Abed has caused anger against Hamas to grow in Gaza, Al-Ain media in the United Arab Emirates reported on July 9. Numerous Arabic-language social media posts have highlighted the assault.

Hamas Warns Gazans Against Cooperating With Israel on Aid Delivery,” FDD Flash Brief

UNRWA Headquarters Among Buildings Targeted in IDF Sweep of Terrorist Centers in Gaza City,” FDD Flash Brief

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