Palestinian Centre for Human Rights


Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Personnel

Field Update

5 April 2006


Continuation of Security Chaos in the Gaza Strip through Misuse and Mishandling of Weapons

Over the past two days, the Gaza Strip has witnessed 3 incidents involving the misuse and mishandling of weapons, one of which led to the accidental killing of a father by his son, south of Gaza City.  In Jabalia, an armed group kidnapped a prisoner who was being transported from court to the Gaza Central Prison.  In addition, a university student was injured by a bullet fired accidentally by a friend on the campus of Al-Azhar University.

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that at approximately 15:30 on Tuesday, 4 April 2006, Mahmoud Mustafa Mohsin El-Qassas (51) was seriously injured, while he was sitting beside his son, Gazi (19).  The son was cleaning a firearm, when a bullet was accidentally fired, hitting the father in the abdomen.  Mahmoud was taken to Shifa Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Earlier on the same day, an armed group intercepted a police vehicle.  They kidnapped the prisoner Ahmad Shafiq Khalil Abdallah (30), while he was being transported from Jabalia District Court to Gaza Central Prison.  He was taken to an undisclosed location.

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that, at approximately 14:20, gunmen traveling in several cars intercepted a police vehicle in front of Jabalia District Court, in the north of the Gaza Strip.  The vehicle was transporting Ahmad Abdallah from the court to Gaza Central Prison.  He was kidnapped after the gunmen fired at the vehicle and was taken to an undisclosed location.  After 3 hours, the gunmen handed the kidnapped citizen over to the Police, who brought him to the prison.  Abdallah was in court with regard to financial disputes between him and a number of traders.

Mohammad Saqir El-Khaldi (26) was injured on Monday, 3 April 2006, by a bullet that was accidentally fired from a friend's firearm in Al-Azhar University.

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that at approximately 11:30 on Monday, 3 April 2006, Mohammad Saqir El-Khaldi, a 26-year old resident of the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, and a member of Force 17, was hit by a bullet in the pelvis.  The bullet was accidentally fired by a friend, while he was handling a firearm on the campus of Al-Azhar University.  The injured man was taken to Shifa Hospital for treatment.  He was admitted to the intensive care unit due to the severity of his injury.

PCHR is very concerned over the continued number of deaths and injuries resulting from the misuse of weapons, which is has become a prominent feature of the ongoing security chaos in the region.  The Centre stresses the importance of protecting civilians and ensuring their safety in accordance with international humanitarian law.  The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to take preventive measures to prevent such incidents and safeguard the safety of citizens.



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