Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Security Chaos and Proliferation of Weapons
Conflicts among Armed Groups or with Security Services
Tension and Armed Clashes Continue in the Gaza Strip
On Sunday, 17 December 2006, tension and violence between Hamas and Fatah movements continued in the Gaza Strip. Armed clashes between the two sides killed 3 persons, including a female university student, and wounded 10 others, including 4 women and a French journalist.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 17 December 2006, an unknown armed group stormed a training site of the Palestinian Presidential Security Forces (PSF) in Sheikh ‘Ejlin area the southwest of Gaza City. The group fired live bullets and RBJ ammunitions at the site, killing a security man, 19-year-old Ismail Talal Mahmoud, from Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. Additionally, 3 security men were wounded.
Following this attack, many masked members of the PSF were deployed in Southern Remal neighbourhood, especially in the vicinity of the Palestinian President’s house. They erected roadblocks and closed streets in the area. At approximately 10:20, a number of gunmen broke into the buildings of the Ministries of Agriculture and Transportation in Gaza City and closed them. They also took position atop of the two buildings.
At approximately 13:00, unknown gunmen fired at the convoy of Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahhar as soon as he left the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tal al-Hawa neighbourhood in the southwest of Gaza City. No casualties were reported. Soon after, an exchange of fire erupted between the Executive Force and the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas), who were positioned atop of the compound of ministries, on one side, and members of the PSF. At approximately 13:30, Jaber Fayez al-Shamali, 29, was wounded by shrapnel to the left foot, when he was walking near the compound of ministries. Half an hour later, Amani Wajeeh Safi, 24, was wounded by a live bullet to the abdomen, when she was inside her house. Additionally, Didier François, correspondent of the French Liberation, was wounded by a live bullet to the left foot, when he was reporting on the clashes.
At approximately 15:30, Hiba Saqer Musbeh, 19, was killed by a live bullet to the head, when she was on her way back home from al-Azhar University. At approximately 16:30, a mortar projectile fired by gunmen fell onto a house belonging to the Abu Amra in the same area. Two women were wounded: Dalal Sa’id Abu Amra, 30, seriously wounded by shrapnel to the neck; and ‘Aaida Mohammed Abu Amra, 25, wounded by shrapnel to the abdomen and the legs.
At approximately 17:00, Nidal Na’im, 21, a member of the PSF, was wounded by shrapnel from a mortar projectile that was fired at the headquarters of the Palestinian President.
At approximately 18:00, an exchange of fire erupted between the Executive Force and a number of gunmen who were participating in a demonstration organized by Fatah movement in Jabalya refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip in support for President Abbas’ call for early elections. Twelve persons were wounded.
At approximately 20:30, a number of gunmen opened fire at a car (a 504 Peugeot) that was travelling in al-Sikka Street in Jabalya refugee camp. Colonel ‘Adnan Rajab ‘Ouda Rahmi, 45, of the Palestinian National Security Forces, who was travelling in the car together with his bodyguard, was wounded by several live bullets to the legs. Soon after, the gunmen abducted him and his bodyguard and took them to Tal al-Za’tar area. There, the gunmen shot Colonel Rahmi dead.
At approximately 21:00, an armed group abducted two members of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades who were near Ansar intersection in the west of Gaza City and took them to an unknown destination.
At approximately 22:00, an exchange of fire erupted between security services and the Executive Force near al-Saraya intersection in the center of Gaza City. Three persons were wounded:
1. Leila Hamdi Abu Sidu, 50, wounded by shrapnel to the shoulder and the face when she was inside her house;
2. Mazen Hani al-Haddad, 29, a member of the Executive Force, wounded by several live bullets to the legs; and
3. Sa’ed Ibrahim Abu Naji, 17, a member of the National Security Forces, wounded by a live bullet to the right thigh.
At approximately 23:00, an exchange of fire erupted between the Executive Force and armed members of the Rahmi clan near al-Lababidi intersection in al-Nasser neighbourhood in the north of Gaza City. Mo’men Sarsour, 25, a member of the Executive Force, was wounded by a live bullet to the right hand.
PCHR strongly condemns these bloody clashes, and:
1. Expresses its utmost concern over the increasing use of weapons by Palestinian armed groups and security services, which is part of the state of security chaos and misuse of weapons prevailing in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in light of the failure of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to take effective legal steps to stop it.
2. Calls upon the PNA, represented by the Attorney-General, to effectively investigate these attacks and bring their perpetrators to justice.
3. Calls upon all parties to protect civilians and abstain from using civilian facilities, including houses, to launch attacks.
4. Calls upon all parties to resort to rational thinking and avoid the use of violence and weapons in internal differences.
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip tel/fax: +972 (0)8 282 4776 – 282 5893
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