Date: 20 May 2007
Time: 11:30 GMT
PCHR Calls for a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza Clashes
47 Killed and Scores Injured in Internal Fighting Between Fatah and Hamas
PCHR welcomes the new cease fire agreement announced yesterday between Hamas and Fatah under the sponsorship of the Egyptian Security Delegation. At the same time, the Centre calls upon the PNA to form a judicial commission of inquiry into the clashes, which included willful killing and other crimes; so as to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Since the afternoon of Saturday, 19 May 2007, a state of tense calm prevails in the Gaza Strip, especially Gaza City, after the announcement of the agreement between both parties. Roadblocks were removed; and gunmen from both sides withdrew from most streets and rooftops.
It is noted that the last three days witnessed a continuation of the fierce clashes between Fatah and Hamas in Gaza City. Hundreds of gunmen from both sides were deployed in residential areas, set up roadblocks on main and side streets, and used residential buildings in combat operations. This included firings bullets and rockets from rooftops or from the vicinity of residential buildings, in a manner that posed serious threat to the lives of civilians, and terrorized them.
From Thursday, 17 May, till Saturday, 19 May, nine people were killed, including a child and two women. One of the women died of wounds sustained earlier. Tens were injured during the same time frame. Thus, the total number of people killed during the recent internal fighting increased to 47. Many of the victims were killed in incidents of willful killing after they were abducted by gunmen, or were killed because of their political affiliation.
PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that in the afternoon of Thursday four people were killed in Rafah, including a woman and a child. Twenty-five others were injured. At approximately 13:00, armed clashes erupted between members of the Preventive Security Apparatus and Hamas gunmen during the funeral procession of four members of the Executive Force and Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions who were killed by Israeli shelling and in internal fighting. The clashes erupted as the procession passed near the Preventive Security Compound in Rafah. The clashes resulted in the death of three people, including a child, by bullets to the head. Fifteen others were injured. The people killed are:
– Mahmoud Hasan Mo’ammar (22), a member of the Preventive Security Apparatus.
– A’ed Abdel Qadir Abu Zeid (21), a member of the Executive Force.
– Abdallah Abed Jarghoun (14), a child who died of his wound on Friday (18 May).
At approximately 15:00 on Thursday, masked gunmen fired at a vehicle near the park in Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah. Fadwa Ayesh Younis, a 22-year old woman, was injured by a bullet to the chest. She died of the injury in Mohammad Yousef El-Najjar Hospital shortly after arrival.
At approximately 21:00 on Thursday, an explosive device planted by unknown gunmen near Jawhara building in Gaza City exploded, killing Wasim Ramadan El-Masri (26), a member of the National Security Force from Beit Lahia. Two others were injured by the explosion.
At approximately 14:30 on Friday, 18 May, Samir Mahmoud El-Amoudi (40) from Beach Camp was killed by a bullet to the head as he was passing near Bakri building in the western part of Gaza City. He was killed during clashes between Fatah and Hamas in the area.
At approximately 17:00 on Friday, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City announced the death of Najah Saleh Qandil (60) from Tal El-Hawa Quarter in Gaza City. She was injured by a bullet in the right hand on Wednesday, 16 May, near her residence in Sa’ada building during clashes between Fatah and Hamas in the area.
At approximately 18:00 on Friday, clashes erupted in Sheja’eya Quarter in Gaza City. Two people were killed in the clashed; and a third was injured. The two people killed are:
– Khaled Taysir Abdel Raziq (22), a Hamas member from Tal El-Hawa Quarter in Gaza City killed by a bullet to the chest.
– Ali Kamal Shamali (28), a Fatah activist from Sheja’eya killed by a bullet to the head.
At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 19 May, a clash erupted between the bodyguards of General Mohammad El-Masri, Deputy-Director of the General Intelligence Service, and unknown gunmen near El-Maqousi Housing Project in the north of Gaza City. Six people, including two children, were injured. After the clashes, masked gunmen set fire to a vehicle belonging to Khalil Abu Leila, a Hamas leader. The vehicle was parked in front of his house in the area of the clashes.
PCHR welcomes the new cease fire agreement, and:
– Calls upon Fatah and Hamas to respect the agreement, to reinforce its implementation on the ground, and to resort to dialogue to resolve differences.
– Calls for the formation of an independent judicial commission of inquiry into the events, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and to remove the factional cover from these perpetrators.
– Calls upon the PNA, both Presidency and Government, to fulfill their responsibility towards establishing law and order in the Gaza Strip, and to protect civilians from this disgraceful and bloody conflict.