On August 22-23, 2014, shortly after Israel took out three senior Hamas officials, the movement executed over 20 Gaza residents accused of spying for Israel; some of the executions were public and the bodies were later dragged through the city streets. This incident, which evoked shock in the Arab and worldwide media, renewed the debate on Hamas’ character and even triggered comparisons between Hamas and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) organization in Iraq, which is known for committing atrocities, including beheadings, abductions and torture.
‘Adnan Hussein, who writes for the Iraqi daily Al-Mada, made this comparison in an August 20, 2014 article, in which he argued that Hamas’ barbaric acts in Gaza resemble the brutality of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Below are translated excerpts from the article: 
“What happened in Gaza City was extremely horrific. I don’t mean only the brazen and ruthless Israeli attack. I actually mean what Hamas did to over 20 individuals whom it accused of collaborating with Israel. What it did was extremely horrific, like the Israeli attack.
“I have no doubt that Hamas and the other jihadi organizations, which carried out the coup against the Palestinian Authority [PA] and that hijacked the Gaza Strip and took its people hostage, are the ones that every so often awaken the wild Israeli beast. Following ongoing denials, several days ago at an Istanbul conference a jihad commander [from Hamas] acknowledged that it was his organization that had kidnapped the three Israeli teens – an incident that the IDF used as a pretext to justify its recent terrible attack.
“Last Thursday [August 21, 2014], Hamas announced that three of its high-ranking commanders in the ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades had been killed in an Israeli airstrike on the house in which they were hiding, in the city of Rafah in the southern [Gaza] Strip. Hours later, the TV channels aired a video of Hamas executing 21 Palestinians on the claim that they had collaborated with Israel and provided information that helped it carry out the attack and hit its targets. The organization also announced that the executions had been carried out following a trial. Naturally, we cannot trust that these legal proceedings were proper, because it is clear that they were conducted quickly and that the accused men could not [possibly] have been able to defend themselves according to the protocols that must be honored – including the appointment of legal counsel [for them].
“Among the Palestinians, there are those who collaborate with Israel, and this has been known for a long time. Maybe under certain circumstances some justification could be found for the death sentences handed down to some of them – but how can anyone agree that the bodies of the executed men be dragged through the streets? This is horrific and barbaric behavior, and cannot be justified under any circumstances, no matter how lofty or sacred its purpose.
“Until now, the most shocking acts of killing, torture, abuse, and insult were the ones carried out by ISIS in Iraq, and before that in Syria (and before ISIS, the tyrannical regimes of Saddam Hussein, Assad, and Qadhafi and their ilk were skilled in such deeds). But what Hamas recently did in Gaza to those whom it accused of spying for Israel is just as debased as the deeds of ISIS…
“The Palestinian cause is sacred – yes, it is sacred, because it is connected to people who have a sacred right to live freely in their homeland in peace and dignity. The actions of Hamas and its sister [organizations] – from harming Israeli civilians to dragging bodies of Palestinians through the streets after they were executed on charges of spying for Israel – damage the sanctity of the Palestinian cause, and [likewise damage] the Palestinian people’s long and glorious struggle to seize its rights and to actualize its honor.”
 Al-Mada (Iraq), August 24, 2014.
 The statement was made by Hamas commander Saleh Al-‘Arouri. See MEMRI TV clip no. 4437, “Hamas Leadership Acknowledges Responsibility for Kidnapping Three Israeli Teens,” August 20, 2014.
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