Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Forces

Field Update

28 May 2006


7 Injured in Incidents Involving Misuse of Weapons in the Gaza Strip.

Over the past three days, seven citizens in the Gaza Strip were injured in four separate incidents involving the misuse or mishandling of weapons.  The injured included three children and one citizen who sustained serious injuries.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 12:00 on Saturday, 27 May 2006, Farid Awad Shahin, an 18-year-old Hamas activist, was hit by gunshot shrapnel in the legs, when an unknown gunman fired at him near El-Salam Mosque in the town of Bani Suheila, east of Khan Yunis.  He was taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis, where his injuries were described as moderate.

And at approximately 11:30 on the same day, shots were accidentally fired from the gun of a security officer who was at a house of mourning in the town of Greater Abasan, east of Khan Yunis.  Four citizens from the Arafat clan were injured, including three children.  The injured were taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis.  The injured are:

         Ali Mahmoud Arafat (55) injured seriously by a bullet to the chest;

         Mohammad Ismail Arafat (7) sustained superficial wounds to the feet;

         Anas Moussah Arafat (6) sustained superficial shrapnel wounds to the head; and

         Kefah Amin Arafat (6) sustained superficial wounds to the legs.

At approximately 10:30 on the same day, Akram Salama Tayeh, a 26-year-old resident of Deir El-Balah refugee camp, was admitted to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah.  He had been injured by a bullet to the right foot.  His condition was described as moderate.  Tayeh was injured following a verbal exchange with a member of the new Executive Force.  The dispute, which took place in Market Street in the refugee camp, escalated and the Executive Force member fired shots at Tayeh.

At approximately 21:00 on Friday, 26 May 2006, unknown gunmen traveling in two civilian vehicles (a Renault and a Subaru) fired at members of the National Security Force deployed at Al-Azhar University intersection in Gaza City.  Mohammad Saleh Musallam, a 22-year-old resident of Maghazi refugee camp and a member of the National Security Force, was injured by a bullet to the right leg.

PCHR is gravely concerned over the continued number of deaths and injuries resulting from the misuse of weapons, which has become a prominent feature of the ongoing security chaos in the region.  The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to take preventive measures to prevent such incidents and safeguard the safety of citizens.