Date: 02 October 2007
Time: 11:30 GMT
PCHR calls for investigating the attacks launched by an armed group against a number of people in Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis, and the subsequent beating of a number of individuals by the police.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 22:30 on Sunday, 1 October 2007, masked militants wearing black clothes violently beat Salah Rajab Qudaih, 25, and Maher Helmi Qudaih, 25, when they were in Qudaih quarter in ‘Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis. The two sustained bruises. A group called “Morality Group” claimed responsibility for the attack in a leaflet distributed in al-Nour Mosque in ‘Abassan village. The group claimed that its members attacked the two persons “because they used to stay in the street over night smoking and bothering people.” Following the Sunset Prayer on Monday, 2 October 2007, a number of masked militants arrived at the same area. They destroyed two shelves of cigarettes and damaged al-Quds Monument, on which flags of Fatah movement and photos of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in the center of the village. Soon after, a quarrel erupted between residents of the area and the attackers. More masked militants arrived at the area and beat and fired at residents of the area, who threw stones at them. As a result, a number of persons were wounded. The militants then withdrew from the area and the police arrived and attempted to disperse people by opening fire. People in response threw stones at the police. The police chased people to their houses and violently beat them, including 4 women.
As a result of the gunfire, 8 people were wounded, including Muneer Husni Qudaih, 17, who was seriously wounded by a gunshot to the abdomen. In addition, 14 people were injured as they were beaten.
The police also arrested 40 persons, who were released later. According to a number of the released detainees, they were violently beaten, their hair was cut and they were forced to sign documents pledging to pay a fine of 1,000 NIS (US$ 250) if they attack the police.
PCHR strongly condemns these attacks, and:
1) Stresses that the attacks against people by the armed group is a form of security chaos.
2) Calls upon the dismissed Palestinian government to investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.
3) Calls for self-restraint and demand security personnel to be committed to the law and to respect international human rights standards to ensure the safety and security of civilians.