Victims of Internal Clashes between Fatah and Hamas Increase: 84 Killed including 2 Children, 5 Women, and 15 other Civilians; and nearly 600 Injured
Date: 14 June 2007
Time: 12:00 GMT
Victims of Internal Clashes between Fatah and Hamas Increase:
84 Killed including 2 Children, 5 Women, and 15 other Civilians; and nearly 600 Injured
The Gaza Strip is still witnessing bloody clashes between Fatah, Hamas and the security forces. The clashes erupted on Thursday, 7 June 2007, and have led to the death of tens of victims from both sides as well as innocent civilians. Gaza and Khan Yunis were the scene of unprecedented violence. Most victims fell in these two places, especially during Hamas control of the compounds of the National Security Forces and General Intelligence. It is regrettable that both sides were more brutal in bringing civilians into the conflict by taking positions on the roofs of houses, preventing food from reaching civilians, firing at peaceful demonstrations, and preventing civilians from access to healthcare. In addition, they targeted hospitals and transformed them into battle grounds, attacked medical crews, and prevented health workers from carrying out their duties. Life was paralyzed throughout the Gaza Strip, including the areas that did not witness clashes. Houses of members of both sides were destroyed and set on fire or targeted by projectiles in a policy of collective punishment to subdue the other side.
Most of Gaza City suffers from a power outage and stoppage of basic services, which threatens to cause a humanitarian disaster.
Tal El-Hawa Quarter in the south of Gaza City has been witnessing the most violent clashes since yesterday evening. The clashes center around the headquarters of the Preventive Security Apparatus, under attack from Hamas gunmen. Based on information that reached the Centre, gunmen deployed in streets and at intersections prevented ambulances from reaching the wounded or taking them to hospital, which increased the number of the dead. In addition, civilians have not been able to leave their houses for four days because of siege or crossfire. Food and baby milk started to run out of houses, threatening the lives of these civilians. PCHR is extremely concerned over the continuation of internal fighting and fears for the lives of innocent civilians. The Centre believes that war crimes have been perpetrated without adherence to the customs of armed conflict, in a way that violates the rules of International Humanitarian Law.
PCHR warns against the threats of taking this bloody fight to the West Bank, which threatens to drown the whole homeland in blood, and threatens the lives of innocent civilians and their properties. In addition, these threats jeopardize the Palestinian national cause. The Centre points that the bloody events in Gaza have started to trickle to the West Bank, which witnessed clashes between supporters of the conflicting parties, break-ins of buildings, gunfire, torching vehicles, and abducting individuals.
It is noted that the Center’s main office in Gaza City remains closed and inaccessible. The Center’s fieldworkers are operating in very dangerous circumstances. According to fieldworkers’ reports and information received since yesterday afternoon, the new events are:
Northern Gaza Strip:
At approximately 13:00 on 13 June 2007, armed groups from Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions attacked the main headquarters of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in the Sudaneya area to the southwest of Jabalia. They fired projectiles and rocket-propelled grenades at the building. A child was injured by shrapnel as a result of the bombardment, and later died of his wounds. The child is Faderl Khader Jarbou (12). The shelling and fire in the area continues till time of publication. Several families abandoned their houses in the area out of fear for their lives. The clashes continued this morning and resulted in the injury of 11 civilians. In addition, Hamas gunmen raided the homes of several security personnel. The situation remains volatile.
Yesterday afternoon, Kamal Odwan Hospital announced the death of Nash’at Mohammad Yehya, a 33-year old member security officer, as a result of wounds sustained in the attack on the National Security Forces Compound in Jabalia. At approximately 17:00 yesterday, Hamas gunmen attacked the compound near Beit Hanoun Crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip. They seized the compound and confiscated all weaponry and equipment. And this morning
At approximately 11:00 on 13 June 2007 a demonstration started from Sheja’eya and walked several streets in Gaza City. The demonstration reached the intersection near Abbas Police Station in Omar El-Mokhtar Street. Gunmen fired at the demonstration; killing of two people and the injury of five others. The two people killed are: Shadi Taysir El-Ejla (21) and Mohammad Mahmoud Adas (19).
At approximately 13:00 on the same day, clashes erupted between both sides in Beach Camp. Mohammad Ismail El-Aswad (22), a civilian from the refugee camp.
At approximately 15:30 on the same day, clashes erupted around Ansar area in the west of Gaza City, and around the Preventive Security headquarters in Tal El-Hawa Quarter, south of Gaza City. Two security officers were killed: Husam Abdel Qadir Ashour (22) from the Preventive Security Apparatus and Mohammad Afana (30) from the Presidential Guard.
In addition, gunmen surrounded Al-Quds Hospital and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Tal El-Hawa and prevented access to them.
At approximately 16:00, Hamas gunmen stormed the house of Atef Baker, a Fatah operative, near Beach Camp. They fired indiscriminately inside the house, killing two women and seriously injuring 4 others. The women killed are Jehan Nayef Baker (18) and Heba Jawad Baker (30). And at approximately 17:00, Hamas gunmen surrounded a number of Baker clan members in the same area, and fired at them. Three Baker clan members were killed: Mansour Omar Baker (47), Mohammad Suliman Baker (28), and Hamada Samir Baker (18).
At approximately 19:00 on the same day, Wa’el Hamdan Afana (35) from Fatah was killed in sporadic clashes in Beach camp. And at approximately 23:00, Mohammad Jamal Abu Ras, a 21-year old civilian, was killed in the clashes in Tal El-Hawa. In the early morning hours of 14 June 2007, Kamal Sa’id Afana (18) from Fatah died of wounds sustained in the clashes in Maqousi Housing project a day earlier.
It is noted that Tal El-Hawa continues to be the scene of fierce clashes at the time of publication. Electricity was cut off from the area; and civilians are besieged in their homes. The situation threatens to deteriorate into a humanitarian disaster.
At approximately 15:00 on 13 June 2007, a huge explosion rocked the Preventive Security compound in the center of Khan Yunis. Members of the Preventive Security Apparatus claimed that the explosion was caused by a large bomb in a tunnel dug by Hamas under the compound. Hamas officially denied the claim. In addition, clashes erupted between Hamas and the Executive Force on the one side and members of the security forces on the other. Nine people, including 3 civilians, were killed. One of the civilians was a woman killed inside her house. The people killed are:
Adham Faraj El-Ghalban (20) from the Preventive Security.
Abdel Rahman Yusef El-Shami (25) from the Preventive Security.
Hamdi Na’em El-Aqqad (26) from the Preventive Security.
Hani Zayed El-Riqib (27) from the National Security Force.
Mohammad Ahmad El-Najjar (30) from Hamas.
Asad Abu Jazar (26) from Hamas.
Suzan Hussein El-Qassas (23) killed inside her house.
Mohammad Firas El-Astal (18), a civilian killed in the street.
Mahmoud Khaled El-Agha (33) killed inside his house.
At approximately 11:30 on 14 June 2007, the bodies of two Preventive Security operatives were recovered from the rubble of the compound: Abdel Wahhab Ruqeya (28) and Adel Salim Shurrab (28).
Clashes in the vicinity of other security compounds throughout Khan Yunis have resulted in 72 injuries thus far. Many of the injured are civilians; and the clashes continued at the time of publication.
In the afternoon of 13 June 2007, Hamas gunmen and members of the Executive Force deployed throughout Rafah and around security compounds. They took control of the National Security Forces observation outposts on the Egyptian border, the National Security Forces compound “Sa’ad Sayel,” and the Palestinian General Intelligence compound on Salah El-Deen road east of Rafah. Clashes occurred during the takeover operation, with rockets and machine guns used. The clashes spread to Shaboura refugee camp, and continued till 00:00 on 14 June 2007. Twenty-seven people were injured, including 11 civilians. Five children and two women were among the injured civilians. In addition, gunmen burned the house of Osama El-Assar, a Preventive Security officer, in Juneina Quarter. In the morning of 14 June 2007, clashes continued between both sides, injuring 2 civilians and one combatant. Relative calm ensued after the Hamas withdrawal from the vicinity of security compounds.
PCHR reiterates its strong condemnation of the bloody clashes, and:
Renews the call to the PNA, President and Government, to fulfill their responsibility and to take the necessary steps to restore law and stability in the Gaza Strip, and to protect civilians from the dangers of the shameful and bloody clashes.
Calls upon both sides to respect International Humanitarian Law, the customs of armed conflict, and human rights; and to impose restrictions on gunmen to stop them from perpetrating crimes, especially against gunmen who surrender.
Puts responsibility on the conflicting parties on the hindrance and impediment of the educational process; and warns against the impact of the violence on 12th grade students.
Calls upon all political parties and civil society organizations to act against this detestable conflict over power, with the price paid by the population and the national cause.