Security Chaos and Proliferation of Weapons

Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Forces

Field Update

27 February 2008



PCHR Documents 5 New Attacks in the Context of Security Chaos

In the past few days, PCHR has documented 5 attacks against civilians, properties and a school by armed persons in the context of the state of security chaos and proliferation of weapons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR:

At approximately 21:00 on Tuesday, 26 February 2008, a number of gunmen from the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) violently beat Sameeh ‘Atwa al-Sheikh, 52, and his son Eihab, 29, near their house in ‘Izbat ‘Abed Rabbu area in the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. The man and his son sustained bruises. A number of relative and neighbors gathered to free the man and his son from the hands of gunmen. The gunmen fired into the air. As a result, the man’s other son, 26-year-old Tha’er, was wounded by shrapnel to the head. The man told PCHR that he identified one of the attackers and the attack was motivated by his attempt to prevent gunmen from stationing near his house out of concern that the house might be shelled by Israeli Occupation Forces.

At approximately 20:30 on Monday, 25 February 2008, at least 20 gunmen stromed a house belonging to Ahmed Mohammed al-Buraim, 52, in Bani Suhaila village east of Khan Yunis. They opened fire inside the house and violently beat its residents. As a result, al-Buraim’s wife, Fawzia Ahmed al-Buraim, 52, was wounded by a gunshot to the left shoulder. The gunmen also burnt a car belonging to al-Buraim. Al-Buraim told PCHR that he identified two of the attackers as his nephews and that the attack was motivated by an inter-clan dispute. He added that he learned from his neighbors that the police stopped a number of those gunmen, but released them after verifying their identities.

At approximately 14:30 on Sunday, 24 February 2008, two home-made rockets fell near 3 houses in the east of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, belonging to Nafez Mousa al-Za’anin, ‘Abdul Latif ‘Abdullah al-Masri and Khaled ‘Abdul Fattah al-Masri. The three houses were damaged, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 21 February 2008, a number of gunmen claiming to be from the police investigation bureau abducted Um al-Zain ‘Ali al-Bernawi, 48, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City. They violently beat her. She sustained fractures to her feet and left hand, and bruises throughout the body. At approximately 03:00 on the same day, the gunmen dumped her near al-Zahraa’ School in the southwest of Gaza City, and she was then evacuated to Shifa Hospital in the city.

At the same time, unknown gunmen traveling in 2 cars broke into al-Manara School of the Holy Book Association (Evangelical Church) in al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. They detained the two guards of the school in a classroom and threatened to kill them if they continued to work as guards. They also violently beat one of the guards.

PCHR is gravely concerned over those attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the context of the state of security chaos and proliferation of weapons plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these incidents and bring those who are found responsible to justice.



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