Children at a school in southern Gaza are reportedly being terrorized by the sounds of Hamas detainees being tortured at an adjacent police compound.
Arabic-language Al Hayat Al-Jadida says parents of children attending the school in central Khan Younis have complained to authorities on numerous occasions about the phenomenon, which includes the chilling sounds of "shrieks and cries of pain", and has left students shaken. The sounds of torture apparently emanate from a building belonging to the Department of General Intelligence, which is tasked among other things with detaining and interrogating suspected "collaborators" or informants for Israel.
One ninth-grade student, identified only as "Y", testified how on her first day in the school she was shocked when her class was interrupted by bloodcurdling screams. She said she was left traumatized by the incident and feels "unsafe" at the presence of the compound near her school.
"Y" complained that the police were meant to make Gazans feel safe "not to provoke fear and terror."
Hamas authorities in Gaza have been widely accused of torturing detainees, as well as carrying out executions without due process.
The Islamist movements brutal repression of its own people - particularly political rivals from the secular-nationalist Fatah party - was highlighted during its 50-day war with Israel, when dozens of people were summarily executed in public after being accused of "collaboration" with Israel.
Human rights groups condemned the executions, as did Palestinian Authority officials, who claimed that the condemned men were not in fact "collaborators" but were shot in an opportunistic purge by Hamas of its rivals.
One leading Fatah party official went so far as to compare Hamas with the Islamic State (also known as IS or ISIS) - a comparison made repeatedly by Israeli officials including Prime Minister Netanyahu.