Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Using Weapons in Personal and Clan Disputes

Field Update

16 April 2006


3 Citizens Killed during Internal Clashes in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

Salam Shokri (from the village of Ateel near Tulkarm), Jamal Issa El-Owei’I (from Hebron), and Dina Abu Jomeiza (from Khan Yunis) were killed and Mahmoud Abu Jomeiza (from Khan Yunis) was injured during internal clashes over the past three days.  These incidents are part of the continuing security chaos currently plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 12:00 on Sunday, 16 April 2006, Basil Abdel Qadir Yasin Shokri, a 35-year-old resident of Ateel village near Tulkarm, fired at his brother Salam (26) and hit him with 5 bullets to different parts of his body.  He was killed instantly.  In addition, another of the attacker’s brothers was injured by a deep cut to the head, as a result of being struck with a sharp object.  PCHR’s fieldworker learned that the attack took place as a result of a dispute between the brothers.  The reasons for the dispute are unknown.

At approximately 15:30 on Saturday, 5 armed men attacked a shop in Beir El-Saba’ Street in the center of Hebron.  The shop belongs to Issa El-Owei’i.  The gunmen fired at the shop owner’s son, Jamal, while he was standing at the entrance of the shop.  He was hit by 2 bullets to the chest and neck.  He died instantly.  It is noted that a dispute had taken place between the victim and members of a city clan on the afternoon of the same day.  These clan members had harassed a group of girls, who then took refuge in the shop.

And on Thursday, 13 April 2006, Dina Mahmoud Abu Jomeiza (a 31-year-old female resident of Khan Yunis) was killed when gunmen fired at her during a dispute over finances.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 23:00 on Thursday, a group of 10 gunmen arrived in 2 cars to the house of Mahmoud Qasem Abu Jomeiza (60) in the Abu Jomeiza neighborhood of Khan Yunis.  The gunmen attempted to kidnap Abu Jomeiza, who was with family members in a farm near the house at the time.  The motive for the attempted kidnapping was a financial dispute.  After a confrontation between both sides, the gunmen fired at Abu Jomeiza, hitting him with a bullet to the left leg.  His daughter, Dina, was hit by 4 bullets to the chest and legs.  The gunmen fled the scene and the injured were taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis.  The hospital announced Dina’s death one hour after her arrival.  Her father’s condition was classified as serious.

On Friday, 14 April 2006, Palestinian Police detained 2 of the gunmen.  It was later learned that 2 others involved in the attack were members of the security forces and they had been detained in the security branches employing them.

PCHR is gravely concerned over the increase of internal violence, including the use of weapons in personal and clan disputes.  This is a continuation of the security chaos and misuse of weapons currently plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).  The Centre reiterates its call to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice.