On 07 May 2017, a Palestinian young man from Beit Lahia was killed after being shot by Palestinian armed groups in al-Mughraqa area in the central Gaza Strip. In another incident, on Friday, 05 May 2017, a 3-year-old child died after sustaining a live bullet wound to the head. The child was mistakenly shot by a relative when he was at his grandfather’s house in ‘Abasan al-Kabirah village. Those incidents are part of proliferation of weapons and assault on the rule of the law in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 07 May 2017, Ashraf Samir Ahmed ‘Aweida (39), from Beit Lahia Housing Project in the northern Gaza Strip, arrived at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah due to being shot with a bullet to the back. As soon as Ashraf arrived at, the Hospital’s medical sources announced his death. His body was then transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza for the forensic Department.
Ayman al-Batniji, spokesperson of the police, stated that in the early morning, members of Palestinian armed groups opened fire at ‘Aweida When they suspected persons’ movement in al-Mughraqah area and ordered them to stop. However, the suspects fled away. Al-Batniji added that the armed groups opened fire at the suspects, wounding one of them and arresting another. The wounded was taken to al-Aqsa Marturs Hospital and died there. Al-Batniji said that the investigation conducted by the General Intelligence Service into the incident revealed that the suspects stole electricity cables from the area, and the case is so far under investigation.
In a separate incident, 05 May 2017, medical sources in the Gaza European Hospital announced the death of Joud Khalil Husam Abu Ragilah (3), from Khuza’ah, east of Khan Yunis. He succumbed to serious wounds he sustained after being hit with a live bullet shrapnel. The bullet unleashed from a firearm belonging to Joud’s relative when the former was at his grandfather’s house in ‘Abasan al-Kabira.
On 28 April 2017, Abu Ragilah and his mother were visiting his grandfather’s house when a bullet mistakenly unleashed from a Klashinkov belonging to a relative, who mishandled it. The bullet hit the room floor and a shrapnel then bounced back to directly hit the child’s head. Abu Ragilah was taken to the Gaza European Hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to his serious condition.
The Palestinian police said they arrested the suspect, seized his gun and opened investigation into the incident.
PCHR condemns the two killing incidents of Abu Ragilah and ‘Aweidah. PCHR also calls upon the Attorney General to investigate seriously both incidents, identify their circumstances, publish the results and take the necessary measures to end such violations.