Date: 11 December 2006
Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Call upon the PNA to Urgently Take Measures to Ensure the Security of People
The undersigned Palestinian human rights NGOs strongly condemns the horrible murder committed in Gaza City on Monday morning, 12 December 2006, which killed 3 children and the driver of the car, in which they were traveling to school. The car, in which the victims were traveling, were fired at by unknown gunmen. The undersigned human rights NGOs express their deep concerns over the unprecedented deterioration in the state of security chaos and misuse of weapons prevailing in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), especially in the Gaza Strip, in light of the failure of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to take effective measures to ensure protection for the lives and property of people.
According to field investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 07:10 on Monday, 11 December 2006, a number of unknown gunmen traveling in two civilian vehicles (a white Mitsubishi and a yellow Mercedes) intercepted a car (a white Skoda) belonging to Bahaa’ Musbah Ba’lousha, 34, an officer of the Palestinian General Intelligence, near his house in al-Sarraj apartment building in Ahmed ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Street in al-Remal neighborhood in Gaza City. Three of Ba’lousha’s children, his niece and two of his bodyguards were traveling in the car. Four masked gunmen got out of the Mitsubishi and opened fire at Ba’lousha’s car, and other gunmen in the Mercedes opened fire indiscriminately. They then fled from the area. As a result of the shooting, Ba’lousha’s three children (Salam, 4; Ahmed, 7; and Ussama, 9) and one of his body guards (Mahmoud Mohammed al-Habeel, 22) were killed. In addition, 4 persons were wounded:
1. Lydia Mohammed Abu ‘Obaid, 6, Ba’lousha’s niece;
2. Nisma Mohammed al-‘Awadi, 7, a passing school child;
3. Huda Mohammed al-‘Awadi, 12, a passing school child; and
4. Ayman Midhat al-Ghoul, 25, one of Ba’lousha’s bodyguards.
This latest crime has come in the context of the continuous escalation in the state of security chaos and misuse of weapons in the OPT. Since the beginning of 2006, at least 244 Palestinian, including 31 children, have been killed, and at least 1274 others, including 158 children, have been wounded in incidents related to the state of security chaos and misuse of weapons.
The undersigned human rights NGOs reiterate their condemnation for this horrible crime, and:
1. Call upon the PNA, represented by the Attorney-General to immediately and effectively investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice;
2. Hold the PNA, represented by its presidential and governmental bodies, responsible for the deterioration in security, and calls upon the PNA to assume its responsibility to protect people and ensure their security and safety, and take effective measures, in accordance with the law and international human rights norms, to put an end to the state of security chaos and misuse of weapons prevailing in the OPT.
3. Point out that law enforcement bodies have failed to search for the perpetrators of such crimes, and remind of dozens of crimes and attacks on the rule of law, which have not been appropriately investigated nor their perpetrators have been punished.
Palestinian Center for Human Rights
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Al Dameer Association for Human Rights
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights
Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights
Ensan Center for Democracy & Human Rights
Defence for Children International Palestine Section
Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling