Palestinian Centre for Human Rights


Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Attacks on Public Institutions and Officials

Field Update

20 March 2006


Armed Groups and Families Attack Public Institutions in the Gaza Strip

On Monday, 20 March 2006, armed groups and families attacked public institutions and officials in the Gaza Strip, in the context of the state of security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. 

At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 20 March 2006, an armed group belonging to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement, stormed the electricity generation facility to the north of Nusairat refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip. The gunmen stormed the facility under heavy gunfire in an effort to pressure the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to provide jobs for them.

According to PCHR’s initial investigation, a National Security Force dispatch arrived at the scene to clear the gunmen from the facility. However, the gunmen refused and exchanged fire with the National Security Force for nearly 2 hours. The clash resulted in the injury of a National Security Force officer, Na’el Khamis Abu Khadra, 25, from Nusairat refugee camp, who was hit with a bullet to the abdomen. He was evacuated to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, where his condition was described as serious. The attack on the station continued until 04:00, when the gunmen left the station.

It is noted that the electricity generation facility came under several attacks by armed Palestinian groups in the past. The last attack was on 11 March 2006, when a number of Fatah gunmen tried to storm the facility. They were requesting jobs.

At approximately 08:00, a number of persons from the Abu Draz family closed the gate of al-Karma Military Hospital in 'Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis.  They requested the medical crew of the hospital to suspend their work.  They declared the closure of the hospital until the achievement of their demand that 5 members of the family being employed.  The administration of the hospital was forced to close the hospital and transfer patients to other hospitals in Khan Yunis. 

At approximately 09:00, 4 armed persons from the Shahwan family opened fire near Khan Yunis Central Court that was considering the case of murdering one of their relatives.  The Palestinian police tried to close the area, and members of the Shahwan family set fire to tires.  At approximately 11:50, as the police were escorting the defendants out of the court, a number of members of the Shahwan family three stones and two locally made bombs at the police.  Police officers opened fire in the air to disperse them.  No casualties were reported. 

At approximately 10:00, at least 40 militants from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement, closed the road leading to the governmental compound, which included the Ministry of Finance, in al-Remal neighborhood in Gaza City.  They besieged the building claiming that they have not received their salaries for several months.  Half n hour later, the police arrived at the area.  The militants who took position on the roof of the building clashed with the police for half an hour.  Two staff members of the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in the area were wounded:

1.      Salem al-Farra, 35, wounded by two live bullets to the thigh; and

2.      Suleiman al-'Aklouk, 27, wounded by a live bullet to the hand. 

PCHR is concerned about the continuation of these dangerous attacks, which constitute a continuum of the state of security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these attacks, and bring the perpetrators to justice.


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