Security Chaos

Clashes between Armed Groups and/or Security Forces

Field Update

22 March 2007


Renewal of Clashes between Fatah and Hamas

Two killed and 18 injured, Kidnappings from both Sides in Gaza City and Northern Gaza

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 16:20 on Wednesday, 21 March 2007, armed clashes broke out between members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (armed wing of Fatah) and members of Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions (armed wing of Hamas). The clashes broke out near the house of Samih El-Madhoun (Al-Aqsa Martyrs commander) in Beit Lahia. The clashes resulted in the death of Rami Yousef S’rour, the personal bodyguard of El-Madhoun, by shrapnel in the head and upper body. In addition, 14 others were injured, including 6 civilian, two of them children. Gunmen from both sides closed main roads during the clashes that continued till a late hour in the evening. In addition, gunmen from both sides searched vehicles. The streets were empty of civilians due to the intensity of the clashes. 

The clashes also included and exchange of abductions of people from both sides. At approximately 18:00, gunmen kidnapped Mahdi Ahmad El-Tanani (18-year old from Beit Lahia) near Kamal Odwan Hospital. He was beaten and suffered bruises in the face and eyes, and was treated in Kamal Odwan hospital. El-Tanani is considered a Hamas activist. And at the same time, gunmen kidnapped and severely beat Ahmad Izzat Abu Rokba (22), a Fatah activist living in Sikka Street in Jabalia refugee camp. Abu Rokba was taken to Kamal Odwan Hospital for treatment.

At approximately the same time of these abductions, gunmen kidnapped Dr. Hamdan Abdallah El-Sofi (45), a lecturer at the Islamic University of Gaza. He was abducted in front of his home in Tal El-Hawa Quarter in Gaza City.

Mediation by national and Islamic parties succeeded in withdrawing gunmen from the area of clashes.

At approximately 3:15 on Thursday, 22 March 2007, four gunmen broke into a room in a chicken farm in the area of Ma’an east of Khan Yunis. Fayez Hasan Quweder (49), a commander in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and his wife were in the room. The gunmen forced Quweder out of the room and fired at him from a distance of 10 meters. He suffered wounds in the extremities. Quweder’s relatives arrived after the gunmen fled, and took him to Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis, where the injuries were listed as serious.

At approximately 4:00 on the same day, gunmen kidnapped Akram El-Hayek, a Fatah leader in El-Tuffah Quarter in Gaza City. He was kidnapped in Tal El-Hawa Quarter in the city. Fatah accused Hamas of the kidnapping, and kidnapped 6 members of the Executive Force in Sheja’eya Quarter. Gunmen from both sides exchanged fire as worshippers were heading to mosques for pre-dawn prayer. Khalil Mohammad Othman Hillis (46) was hit and killed by a bullet to the head. Three other civilians were injured. Hillis clan accused the Executive Force of killing the kinsman on purpose. They burned two cars belonging to the Executive Force.