Eight lower-ranking Palestinian security officers were tried Thursday for abandoning their posts during the Hamas takeover of Gaza, prompting defense complaints that they were being turned into scapegoats for senior officials responsible for the debacle.
It was the first trial stemming from the week of fighting in June, in which Hamas routed the forces loyal to moderate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah.
Many Fatah loyalists, including security officers and leading politicians, fled Gaza.
"Those who escaped first and left low-level officers uncovered are enjoying their freedom in Europe and Egypt while those low officers are on trial," said defense lawyer Abdel Karim Hamad.
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