Hamas Leader Accused of Gay Sex and Thievery Executed

Hamas Executed for Being Gay

Mahmoud Ishtiwi, commander from a storied family of Hamas loyalists who, during the 2014 war with Israel, was responsible for 1,000 fighters and a network of attack tunnels was executed last month with three bullets to the chest.

The execution comes as a result of in January 2015, Ishtiwi admitting that he was funneling money to his brigade that was instead meant for weapons. After that, an investigation opened up on Ishtiwi, uncovered male lovers and he was accused of moral turpitude, by which Hamas meant homosexuality. Not only were Hamas officials humiliated over the reports, they believed his secret life could open him up to blackmail by Israeli officials. Rumors also began circling that he aided Israelis in an assassination attempt on a military leader named Mohammed Deif, an attack that instead killed one of Deif’s wives and their baby.

Reports indicated that Ishtiwi carved the word “zulum” — meaning “wronged” — unto his body. He was imprisoned and tortured. In the early hours of February 7, Ishtiwi’s family pleaded with officials to spare his life; he was killed that day.

His death has become the talk of the town in the conservative quarters of Gaza, the Palestinian coastal territory, endlessly discussed in living rooms, at checkpoints and in cabs. But to astute Gaza observers, this was more substantive than a soap opera.

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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