In the dawn today, Tuesday 2 June 2009,
unknown gunmen set fire to “al-Amir” coffee shop in al-Bi’a street in
Deir al-Balah city. They damaged the contents of the coffee shop and
assaulted the workers in the coffee shop.
According to investigations conducted by
the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), today, at approximately
03:30 am, five masked gunmen raided al-Amir coffee shop. They awoke the
owner of the coffee shop, Mohammed Mohammed Abu Slim, 22, his brother
Mahmoud, 18, and a worker employed in the coffee shop, Samir Khattab,
18. The gunmen beat the named civilians with guns’ butts. They also
punched and slapped them. One of the masked gunmen poured benzene in the
coffee shop and then set fire. In the meanwhile, one of the gunmen
poured benzene on the three men and threatened them to set fire to them,
and then he began destroying the stuff there.
The owner of the coffee shop said to PCHR
that the gunmen took their mobiles and threw them in the fire and then
left the place. According to Abu Slim, while leaving the scene, the
gunmen threw a grenade towards the coffee shop but it did not explode.
Abu Slim added that he asked for help from
his relatives who live near the shop. He extinguished the fire with his
relatives and then telephoned to the police. The police arrived to the
scene and checked it. The police asked Abu Slim to file a complaint in
the police station, and he did so.
PCHR is concerned over continued attacks
against private and public property, which are part of the state of
security chaos and misuse of weapons plaguing the OPT. PCHR calls upon
concerned authorities to open investigations into this reported incident
and bring the perpetrators to justice.