Palestinian Centre for Human Rights


Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Clashes between Armed Groups and Security Forces

Field Update

14 May 2006


1 Citizen Killed and 5 Injured in Clashes between Gunmen and Palestinian Police in Khan Yunis

One citizen was killed in Khan Yunis and another five were injured during armed clashes between Palestinian security forces and gunmen in Khan Yunis over the past three days.  

PCHR's initial investigation indicates that on the morning of Thursday, 11 May 2006, scores of citizens protected by gunmen started to dismantle and steal agricultural greenhouses in land previously occupied by the settlement of Moraj, south of Khan Yunis.  Palestinian Police, supported by the Joint Committee of Security Branches, intervened to disperse the mob, exchanging gunfire with the armed group.  Rami Oweidah, 25, who is a member of the Popular Militia guarding the greenhouses, was injured by a bullet to the thigh.  Tension persisted until the evening hours.

And on Friday, 12 May 2006, the same group of people recommenced attempts to steal the greenhouses.  Forces from the Joint Committee of Security Branches intervened to disperse the mob.  The gunmen protecting the mob fired at the security forces but no injuries were reported.  

At approximately 13:00 on Friday, clashes between the armed mob and security forces resumed, resulting in the death of Rami Rasmi El-Masri, 23, who was killed by a bullet to the head.  El-Masri worked as a member of the National Security Forces but he was off-duty at the time of the incident.  Husam Abdel Aziz El-Najjar, 28, was injured by a bullet to the left leg and Ibrahim Zo'rob, 28, sustained superficial shrapnel wounds to the neck.

In a related development, members of the El-Masri clan fired at Palestinian security vehicles in the area where the clashes had occurred.  Later, they attacked two police stations in Khan Yunis and Bani Suheila, firing shots at both.  Policeman Mohammad Farid El-Najjar, 28, was injured by a bullet to the right leg.  Gunmen from the El-Masri clan burned both police stations.  They also closed Salah El-Deen Road, connecting Rafah and Khan Yunis, for two hours and burned tyres in the area.

In the morning hours of Saturday, 13 May 2006, the attacks on the greenhouses resumed.  Palestinian security forces intervened and clashed with the attackers.  As a result, Abdel Rahman Talal El-Najjar, 27, was injured by a bullet to the right leg.

PCHR is gravely concerned over the escalating internal violence and use of weapons by armed groups and individuals, which is causing further deterioration to security chaos currently plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.



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