How Hamas tortured its own brigade leader to death

Documents found in Gaza by the IDF how the terror group whipped and hung military chief accused of homosexuality


Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, has reportedly told senior Hamas officials in Qatar "not to worry" about an Israeli siege in Rafah. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Documents discovered by IDF troops in Gaza describe the months of brutal torture inflicted on a Hamas commander accused of embezzlement and passing intelligence to Israel.

Mahmoud Ishitwi, once the leader of the terror group’s elite Zeitoun battalion, is said to have been tortured for more than a year before being executed in 2016 on orders from Yayha Sinwar, then and now Hamas’s chief in the Gaza Strip.

Among the documents, according to a report in The Times, was an account written by Sinwar’s victim, who according to a Hamas statement issued after his death was killed after confessing to “behavioural and moral violations”, a euphemism for homosexuality.

“The fear gripped me without end,” Ishtiwi wrote. “They would beat me 400-500 times … they held me blindfolded for five days … there were days in which I was beaten for 20 hours, and sometimes 48 hours … I was suspended by my arms and legs, swinging while four men whipped me … I confessed more than once under torture.”

The documents unearthed by the IDF also include a letter sent by Ishtiwi’s family to Ismail Haniyeh, the Qatar-based Hamas politburo chief, saying he was taken to an open grave and told: “This is your tomb. We will pour concrete on you until it reaches your mouth — and it won’t be the first time we’ve done this.”

Sinwar, the mastermind of the October 7 terrorist massacre, first came to prominence in Hamas in Gaza by leading waging campaigns against “immorality”, before turning to pursuing suspected collaborators with Israel, whose courts jailed him for four murders in 1989. He was released as part of the prisoner swap that saw the release of the IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011.

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