Ref: 54/2010


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly
condemns the attack carried out by a group of masked gunmen on a Summer Games
camp organized by UNRWA on the beach to the west of al-Zawaida village, in the
central area of Gaza Strip. The
attackers attacked the camp in the early morning, setting fire to some portions
of it. PCHR calls upon the government
in the Gaza Strip to seriously investigate what is now the second attack on the
UNRWA camps in less than 30 days. This attack is indicative of the
state of security chaos and misuse of weapons plaguing the Occupied Palestinian
Territory (OPT)
. PCHR calls for an investigation into the
attack and for efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice
.

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the
testimony of the guards, at approximately 2:30, on Monday 28 June 2010, a large group of masked
gunmen broke into the UNRWA camp designated for the Summer Games on the beach
in the west of al-Zawayda village, in the central area of Gaza Strip. The attackers handcuffed the guards and
blindfolded them. They then proceeded to
attack the camp, setting fire to some parts of it. Before leaving, the gunmen
released one of the guards, who released the others and began to try to
extinguish the fire.  

 

Soon after the attack, the Civil Defense and Palestinian
police arrived on the scene. In his speech this morning, 29 June 2010, the
spokesperson of the Palestinian police stated that the police have opened an
investigation into the incident and began a search for the perpetrators in
cooperation with the General Investigation Service.

 

The UNRWA Summer Games Camp is 2000 square meters and is
divided into small tents. The Camp serves 250 children participating in the Summer
Games. UNRWA began holding the Summer Games’
Camps, which target children from age 7-15, in the summer of 2008. The Camps, held in summer at UNRWA schools
and at camps on the beach, host sports and art activities for the participants.

 

Previously, on Sunday, 23 May 2010, another UNRWA Summer
Games’ Camp to the west of Gaza City was attacked by unknown gunmen in a
similar manner. PCHR was informed then
by governmental sources that some suspected gunmen were arrested; it was not
clear whether the necessary legal action was taken against them or not.

 

PCHR strongly condemns this attack, which is part of the
state of security chaos and misuse of weapons plaguing the OPT and calls upon
the government in the Gaza Strip to immediately and efficiently investigate the
attack, prosecute the perpetrators and take the necessary legal action. PCHR further calls for publishing the
investigation’s results, clearly condemning the attack, and taking the
necessary measures to ensure complete protection for UNRWA institutions and
facilities, including the Summer Camps