Attack on Bianco Resort in Beit Lahia Aims to Terrorize Citizens
Date: 7 August 2021
Time: 14:30 GMT
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns the terrorization of Palestinians by targeting Bianco Resort, northern Gaza. The resort was recently opened on the Gaza Beach, and is the property of Palestinian businessman Suhail al-Saqqa. The attackers blew the resort’s exterior wall with a powerful explosive device, allegedly for holding a party attended by both genders. The explosion damaged part of the wall. The Palestinian police opened an investigation into the incident immediately. PCHR demands that all persons involved in this criminal act be held accountable as per the law.
According to PCHR investigations, at approximately 23:55 on Friday, 6 August 2021, unknown persons planted an explosive device next to the resort’s northeastern walls. It was detonated shortly afterwards causing part of the wall to collapse.
Mr. Suhail al-Saqqa, the resort owner, stated that a person had arrived at the resort at approximately 19:30 on Wednesday, 4 August 2021; he identified himself and demanded the employees cancel a party scheduled for Thursday, 5 August. Al-Saqqa said that the person was sat with the Manager, Mr. Ahmed al-Saqqa, who informed him that the resort had obtained a permit from the Ministry of Interior to hold the party, and that any concerns he may have can be raised with the Ministry. Al-Saqqa added that the local security services arrived at the scene immediately after the explosion, opened an investigation, and detained a number of suspects.
It should be noted that a number of social media activists started an incitement campaign against the resort soon after the planned party was announced, allegedly for allowing mixing between men and women in contrast with social and religious traditions; they also called for shutting down the resort. Among the social media activists was the person who visited the resort and demanded its administration cancel the event. Additionally, the same person posted on social media after the explosion took place, stating that he did warn against holding the party.
Bianco resort is a private-owned enterprise that was opened in mid-July 2021; it is established on a 12-dunum area and employs at least 120 individuals from across the Gaza Strip. PCHR emphasizes the importance of supporting such enterprises and others that contribute to internal tourism and boost Palestinian economy through job creation, which helps reduce the harmful economic impact of the Israeli closure policy.
PCHR fears that other similar parties may be targeted by unknown persons and that certain groups would take the law into their own hands, causing terror among innocent citizens, especially that similar parties are held regularly in various establishments across the Gaza Strip with licensing from the Ministry of Interior.
PCHR emphasizes the importance of all efforts put towards protecting public freedoms, which created a solid defense line against any party that attempts to disturb civilian life and asserts the principle of the rule of law as key for civil peace.
PCHR also calls upon the Ministry of Interior to take the necessary preventive measures to deter the recurrence of such incidents. PCHR asserts the important role and duty of the Ministry of Interior to provide protection for citizens from third-party infringement on civil rights and freedoms. This includes protection for private property, which is of paramount importance for synthesizing economic growth and investment, which contributes to creation of new job opportunities, particularly under the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the Gaza Strip.