Palestinian Centre for Human Rights


Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Attacking Public Institutions and Officials

Field Update

23 April 2006


Attacks on Public Institutions Continue

Palestinian Gunmen Attack the Municipalities of Nablus and Bani Suheila

In a continuation of the trend of attacking international institutions, which has become a feature of the ongoing security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), gunmen from Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades closed down the Nablus municipality building this afternoon in protest against the statements made by Khaled Meshal (the head of the Hamas political bureau).  And last Thursday, a citizen threw 2 homemade grenades in the Bani Suheila municipality building.

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that at approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 23 April 2006, a group of about 20 gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades stormed the Nablus municipality building, firing heavily in the air.  The gunmen forced staff and citizens to leave the building.  They announced the indefinite closure of the building in protest against the statements of Khaled Meshal, the head of the Hamas political bureau.  In addition, they requested that the municipality should allocate salaries for them.

And at approximately 10:15 on Thursday, 20 April 2006, a citizen threw two homemade grenades at the entrance of the Bani Suheila municipality building, located in El-Rawda Street in Bani Suheila (east of Khan Yunis).  The attack came in protest against a complaint filed by the mayor to the police against the attacker.  The Mayor, Abdel Qadir El-Rigib, informed PCHR's fieldworker that a citizen came to the municipality accompanied by two of his sons.  He requested that the complaint, filed against one of his sons a few weeks ago, be dropped.  The complaint was filed on the grounds that municipality workers had been insulted and attempts had been made to assault them.  When the Mayor refused to withdraw the complaint, one of the sons threw two homemade grenades into the municipality building and near the entrance.  No injuries were reported.

PCHR strongly condemns this attack and expresses grave concern over the escalating security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these attacks and to bring the perpetrators to justice.



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