Released @ 10:00 hours GMT, 28th December, 1998

Member of Palestinian Security Forces Shoots at Cousin during Family Dispute

Yesterday, Sunday December 27, a member of the Palestinian security forces fired at his cousin, Khalid Abu Shuaib, 35 years old, from Deir El-Baleh. He injured him in the stomach. The incident took place due to a family dispute. An eyewitness said he saw the perpetrator entering into the building of Deir El-Baleh Society for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons. The perpetrator fired his automatic weapon at Shuaib from a distance of two meters. The victim was transferred to Shifa Hospital in Gaza where he underwent immediate surgery. PCHR was informed that he has improved from his original critical condition. PCHR was also informed that the perpetrator, who is a member of Force 17 (presidential security), surrendered to the headquarters of Force 17 in Deir El-Baleh.

PCHR expresses its deep concern over the occurrence of the attack as such incidents took the lives of many civilians during 1998 and the last few years. PCHR reiterates its demand that the Palestinian Authority (PA) should take immediate and effective measures to regulate the use of weapons by individuals of its security forces.

It is worth noting that the PA executed two of its security personnel on August 30, 1998 after they were accused by a special military court of murdering the brothers Muhammad and Majdi Al-Khaldi. At the time, PCHR stated that the death penalty does not constitute an effective deterrent to such crimes. PCHR further insisted that the PA should take effective measures to regulate the use of weapons and take action against the militarization of Palestinian society.