Security Chaos

Attacks on Public and Civil Society Organizations

Field Update

19 May 2008


Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions Gunmen Attack Several People in a Mosque in Jabalia

Gunmen belonging to Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions and members of the Police raided Imam Mohammad Naser El-Deen El-Albani Mosque in Jabalia refugee camp two days ago. They took control of the mosque after expelling its caretakers, beating several of them. PCHR views this attack as part of the ongoing security chaos plaguing the OPT.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation and eyewitness accounts indicate that at approximately 15:45 on Saturday, 17 May, masked gunmen headed to the Imam Mohammad Naser El-Deen El-Albani Mosque in Bloc 5 of Jabalia refugee camp. A vehicle carrying Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions gunmen and two police cars accompanied the masked gunmen. The gunmen entered the mosque and demanded that the Imam, Abd El-Halim Abdallah Awad, and the Director of the Kitab and Sunna Association, Ashraf Wadi, to leave the mosque and stop managing it under order from Hamas. After a discussion between both parties, Wadi went to the police station in Jabalia refugee camp and submitted a complaint against the gunmen. Then he returned to the mosque. Several Hamas supporters gathered inside the mosque and started to perform afternoon (Aser) prayers. The gunmen used their gun butts to attack Wadi and Awad and other members of the Kitab and Sunna Associations. Then they threw them out of the mosque. Several neighbors, including women, gathered to protest what was happening inside the mosque. The gunmen beat several women.

Imam Awad took the remaining members of the Association out of the mosque through a door connecting the mosque to his nearby house. The gunmen destroyed part of the wall separating the roofs of the house and the mosque. The whole episode resulted in the injury of more than 20 people with bruises.

It is noted that the Imam Mohammad Naser El-Deen El-Albani Mosque was established by the Kitab and Sunna Association, which is a benevolent society of the Salafi movement.

PCHR strongly condemns the attack by the Izzedeen El-Qassam Battalions gunmen on the people and the take over of the mosque in Jabalia refugee camp. The Centre strongly condemns the police for not interfering to prevent the abuse by the gunmen who have no official capacity and are not a law enforcement body. The Centre views this attack as a continuation of the security chaos plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory.



More Field Updates