A Jeep stopped in the middle of the Makoussi neighborhood and hooded men unloaded the six handcuffed suspects. Some of them were already dead, but others were still alive, though severely injured. The hooded men placed a large sheet of paper on the ground before climbing back aboard their vehicle. On this sheet were the names of the six victims and the motives for killing them. The message was signed, supposedly by the Al-Qassam Brigade [the armed wing of Hamas], claiming to be responsible for the assassinations. But that does not mean anything, in my opinion: it could be any armed group pretending to be Al-Qassam, because they know Al-Qassam is untouchable.
The crowd that rapidly grew around the six men killed those who were still alive by hitting them with rocks and trampling them. The crowd insulted them and spit on their bodies.
The son of one of the victims was present [Editor’s note: he can be heard crying in the recording, and several seconds later, a voice asks, “Is this your father?”]. When people started calling for the men to be dragged in the street [Editor’s note: voices can be heard yelling “drag them”], the son of the victim unsuccessfully tried to stop them. The young man was then made to leave.
People brought ropes. The bodies were attached to the back of motorcycles. The corpses were then dragged down the street. I did not see them again, but I heard later that they ended up being brought to the morgue.
These Reuters photos circulated on social networks and many websites.
The crowd was able to do this because the police have been absent from the streets since the Israeli offensive. Armed groups can carry out summary executions with complete impunity. And people have been unleashing all of their pent-up anger against those they perceive as responsible for the deaths of Palestinians [Editor’s note: in the video, a man looking at a corpse can be heard saying twice that “he should be an example for all the others”].
I wholly disapprove of such actions. Certainly, those who collaborate with Israel should be judged and punished because they are in part responsible for the deaths of Palestinians. But treating dead bodies in this way is reprehensible, including from a religious point of view.