One of the more startling images from the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas was a graphic picture (or rather a series of them) of a man being dragged by motorcycle through the streets of Gaza City. The man was Ribhi Badawi and his crime was that he was accused of collaborating with Israel, allegedly passing along information that Israel used to find Hamas targets. Badawi and five other men were publicly executed by Hamas forces.

But according to the New York Daily News, who spoke with Badawi’s widow, it sounds like it would be difficult for Badawi to have collaborated with Israel.

Actually, Badawi, 37, had spent the last four years in a Hamas prison under armed guard. He was tortured for seven months into confessing that he was working for Israel.

“They burned (him) and broke his jaw and teeth,” said his widow, Kholoud Badawi. “He was hanged for 45 days by his arms and legs to make him confess. He confessed because of the torture.

“He told me every detail of what had happened to him and he gave me a diary he was writing,” she added.

The story also seems to suggest that Badawi was more of a Hamas rival than a conspirator against it. While it’s difficult to know exactly what happened here, as the conversation moves ahead about the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the viability of future partners for peace, the public execution of Palestinian men, some of whom may not even be guilty of crimes, signals that Hamas doesn’t appear to be one of those partners. Somehow, that message continues to be forgotten.

Hamas victim was no collaborator, widow says [NYDN]