Ref: 68/2007

Date: 22 July 2007

Time: 12:30 GMT

 

Executive Force Raid the Beit Lahia Development Association in the Northern Gaza Strip

PCHR condemns the raiding of the Beit Lahia Development Association by members of the Executive Force in the northern Gaza Strip. The Centre calls for investigating the raid which resulted in the detention and beating of an employee and confiscation of computers from the Association.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 12:00 on Thursday, 19 July 2007, members of the Executive Force raided the Beit Lahia Development Association in the northern Gaza Strip. The Force detained Ahmad Khaled El-Kilani (19), and beat him. In addition, the Force confiscated 4 computers from the association under the suspicion that a Fatah leaflet was distributed from the Association. Members of the Force fired to disperse people who gathered to prevent the confiscation of the computers. As a result, Said Ahmad El-Kilani (23) was injured by shrapnel in the left hand and leg.

It is noted that half an hour before the raid, seven members of the Force came to investigate a tip that a Fatah leaflet was distributed from the Association.

Ahmad El-Kilani informed PCHR’s fieldworker that a member of the Executive Force beat him with the butt of his gun on the head, causing a bleeding wound. He was dragged by force outside the Association and taken to the Beit Lahia police station. He stated that he was beaten inside the police station. Then he was taken to Jabalia refugee camp police station, where he was beaten and insulted. A physician provided first aid to him. He signed a statement committing not to interfere with the work of the Executive Force before his release.

PCHR condemns the raid on the Beit Lahia Development Association, and:

            Calls for investigating this raid that included attacking the Association’s office, arresting an employee and torturing him.

            Renews the call to adhere to legal procedures in conducting detentions.

            Calls upon the Executive Force to respect the sanctity of civilian institutions and to protect them from illegal searches, noting that any search must be authorized by the Attorney-General.