Palestinian Centre for Human Rights


Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Attacks on Public Officials and Institutions

Field Update

4 Jul 2006


Armed Group Fires Shots inside the European Hospital and Kidnaps a Member of the Hospital Staff

This morning a number of gunmen stormed the European Hospital in Khan Yunis in protest against the kidnapping of their relative from the hospital by unknown assailants.  The gunmen kidnapped a member of the hospital’s staff, claiming that his relatives had kidnapped the gunmen’s relative.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 07:15 on Tuesday, 4 July 2006, masked gunmen traveling in two cars intercepted a taxi near Al-Awda School in Greater Abasan.  The gunmen abducted one of the men in the taxi, 22-year-old Mohammad Yousef Abu Dakka, who works in the Special Police Force.  At approximately 09:30, the gunmen dropped the kidnapped policeman near the European Hospital.  He had bruises all over his body, sustained during a beating inflicted by the gunmen.

At approximately 09:30, a number of people, including some carrying arms, stormed the European Hospital and attempted to abduct Hussein Mahmoud El-Ghalban (40), who is an ambulance driver.  The assailants claimed that El-Ghalban’s family had been behind the earlier kidnapping.  When the hospital staff tried to prevent the kidnapping, the gunmen fired shots in the hospital, and forced El-Ghalban to leave with them.  They took him to an unknown location.  After one hour, the kidnappers released the ambulance driver, who stated that he had been beaten by the abductors.  The staff in the hospital suspended work in protest against the kidnapping and beating of their colleague.

PCHR condemns this attack, and points with concern to the increasing number of attacks on public figures and institutions, which threaten the lives of staff in these institutions.  These attacks are part of the security chaos plaguing the OPT.  The Centre reiterates its call to the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice.


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