Security Chaos and Proliferation of Weapons

Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Forces

Field Update

8 April 2007


3 Abduction Attempts in the Gaza Strip

On Friday, 6 April 2007, the Head of the Union of Palestine Workers was wounded by shrapnel to the neck, when a number of gunmen who attempted to kidnap him fired at him in Khan Yunis. In Nusiarat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, gunmen took over two vehicles of the Palestinian General Intelligence. In Gaza City, unknown gunmen abducted a Palestinian man who holds the Israeli citizenship, when he was in a visit to his family.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR:

At approximately 17:50 on Friday, 6 April 2007, a number of unknown gunmen intercepted the car of Rasssem Mahmoud al-Bayari, 52, Head of the Union of Palestine Workers, when he was traveling with his wife, his children and his nephews near the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Yunis. According to al-Bayari, the gunmen forced the family out and got into the car. They ordered him to drive the car, but he refused and got out of it. Soon, a quarrel erupted between al-Bayari and the gunmen, during which one of them opened fire. Al-Bayari was wounded by shrapnel to the neck. The gunmen then took the car and escaped.

At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 7 April 2007, 7 masked gunmen intercepted two vehicles of the Palestinian General Intelligence in Nusairat refugee camp. They forced security men out and took over the vehicles. According to information available to PCHR, one of the attackers is a former member of the General Intelligence who was dismissed. In the afternoon, the gunmen released the two vehicles after they had received promises to meet their demands.

At approximately 17:30 on Friday, 6 April 2007, unknown gunmen traveling in a civilian vehicle with a yellow registration plate kidnapped Jihad Fu’ad Ziara, 46, when he was near his house in the east of Gaza City. According to Ziara’s father, the car passed near the house a few minutes before the attack, and only one person was traveling in it. The car came back to the area then, and a number of masked gunmen were traveling in it. They kidnapped his son. Ziara has been working in Israel for 16 years, and was granted the Israeli citizenship 5 years ago. He came to visit his family in Gaza on Thursday, 5 April.  

PCHR is gravely concerned over the state of security chaos, especially in the Gaza Strip. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these incidents and bring those who are found responsible to justice.