Attacks on Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations
13 July 2008
Explosive Device Detonated in Yabous Benevolent Society and Rafah Service club in Southern Gaza
Last Thursday, unknown assailants detonated an explosive device in the Rafah Service Club in near Al-Awda Square in the center of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The explosion targeted Yabous Benevolent Society, causing extensive damage to the Society office and to the offices of neighboring organizations as well as the Club headquarters. This attack is a continuation of the security chaos plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
PCHR’s preliminary investigation and the statements of the Yabous Society and Rafah Service Club officials indicate that at approximately 1:50 on Thursday, 10 July, a huge explosion rocked the center of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The explosion targeted the Yabous Benevolent Society and a building belonging to the Rafah Service Club near Al-Awda Square in the center of the city. The explosion caused extensive damages to the Yabous Society office, to the building, and to the offices of other organizations in the same building.
In the morning, the director of the Yabous Society submitted an official complaint in the Rafah Police Station. The Police spokesman, Islam Shehwan, stated that the Police have opened an investigation into the attack; and that several suspects are being questioned.
On Sunday morning (13 July), PCHR Director, Raji Sourani, visited the scene of the explosion in Rafah, and held a joint press conference with the Yabous Society and Rafah Service Club officials. He condemned the attack as a violation of the right to form associations, noting that it is a continuation of the security chaos plaguing the OPT.
PCHR strongly condemns the recurrence of these attacks; and calls upon the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to prosecute the perpetrators.