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Ref: 85/2010


The
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns storming Crazy
Water Park by unknown gunmen and setting fire to it in the early morning.  PCHR calls upon the Attorney General office
to seriously investigate this attack,
which is part of the
state of security chaos and misuse of weapons prevailing in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories (OPT)
.

 

According
to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony of one of the Park’s
guards, at approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 19 September 2010, more than 20
masked gunmen broke into Crazy Water Park, which belongs to the Panda Tourist
Company and is located in Sheikh ‘Ejleen area in the southwest of Gaza City,
near the beach.  The gunmen handcuffed
and blindfolded the two guards, who were inside the Park, and took them to the
guards’ room after confiscating the keys of the Park’s buildings.  A number of gunmen attacked the security
guard by beating him, set fire to the Park’s buildings and restaurants,
including al-Badiya section, and then left. 
The two guards hurried up to one of the neighboring houses to break
their handcuffs, when a force of civil defense arrived and extinguish fire.  In addition, the Palestinian police arrived
and opened an investigation in the attack.

 

Damages were caused to large parts of the buildings
and restaurants of the 10-dunum Park. 
They are:

1) (Al-Safeena)
building, consisting of 3 floors on an area of
250 m².  It includes the administration and the restaurant;

2) Accounting
and warehouses building, on an area of
140 m²;

3) Al-Badiya
section, which includes works of the Palestinian heritage, in addition to two mosques
for men and women on an area of
300
; and

4) Narjila
(Hubly bubbly) room.

 

It should
be noted that Crazy Water Park has been closed since 5 September 2010 under a
decision issued by the Attorney General, for 21 days.  When the Park’s director contacted
governmental bodies, he was informed that the reason of closure was for digging
an artesian water well in the Park without obtaining an official license in
advance.  The Palestinian police and
General Investigation Bureau (GIB) went to the Crazy Water Park on 19 August
2010 and informed them of the decision issued by the Minister of Interior to
close the Park for three days.  The
Park’s director went to GIB office to know the reason of closure, and then he
was forced to sign an oath to abide to (non-mixture, not to serve narjila to
women and to pay 10,000 NIS in case of breach).

 

In the
same context, during the current month, GIB obliged owners of resorts in the
Gaza Strip to sign on a notice issued by the police command without obtaining a
copy of the notice.  The notice includes
conditions relevant to gender mixture, non-serving narjila to women, to abide
by the public order and Islamic customs, to pay an amount of money in case of
breach, and to close the place.  PCHR
believes that such actions are illegal and they raise concerns when the law
enforcement bodies practice them or turn a blind eye to them.   

 

It is
worth saying that two camps of the UNRWA summer games’ camps, one of them was
held on the beach, in the west of al-Zawaida village, in the central Gaza
Strip, and the other one was held at the beach in the west of Gaza City, were
similarly attacked on 28 June 2010 and 23 May 2010.

 

In light of the above, PCHR:

1) Calls
upon the Attorney General to seriously investigate the attack on Crazy Water
Park, which is part of the state of security chaos and misuse of weapons
prevailing in the OPT, and to bring the perpetrators to justice;

2) Calls
for publishing the results of investigations into this attack and other ones
that were carried out against the UNRWA camps, especially, the ongoing concealment
of information regarding the perpetrators and bringing them to trial raises
doubts on the seriousness of these investigations in Gaza and covering up the perpetrators;
and

3) Believes
that illegal measures taken by official bodies (GIB) against resorts in Gaza,
in addition to attacks relevant to the security chaos and misuse of weapons threatening
public tranquility and safety of the society.

4) Calls
upon the Minister of Justice and Minister of Interior to ensure that law
enforcement bodies work to enforce the law in order to enhance the rule of law.