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.
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
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.