GAZA, March 1 – The Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday that 11 policemen would be tried for offences relating to the death in custody this month of a Palestinian it suspected of dealing in drugs.
The ministry said in a statement that Ismail Haniyeh, the Islamist movement’s prime minister in the Palestinian coastal enclave, had fired the 11 on Tuesday and ordered them to face courts martial over the death of 40-year-old Zayed Jaradat.
His family and human rights groups accused policemen working for Hamas of torturing him, leading to his death a day after his arrest on March 15 in Rafah, a town that supports much of Gaza’s trade through a warren of tunnels under the border with Egypt.
Hamas, winner of a parliamentary election in 2006, routed forces loyal to Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007 to seize control of the Gaza Strip. The territory of 1.5 million people is blockaded by Israel, with Egyptian cooperation.