Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Clashes between Armed Groups and Security Forces
22 May 2006
Tension Escalates in the Gaza Strip
1 Citizen Killed and 3 Injured in Various Incidents
In a further escalation of the security chaos currently plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), a number of incidents took place during the past 24 hours. On Sunday evening, 21 May 2006, one citizen was killed and another injured during an exchange of fire between Fatah and Hamas activists in the east of Khan Yunis. In the northern Gaza Strip, three explosive devices were detonated near the homes of activists from Fatah and Hamas. In addition, two citizens were injured by gunfire from Fatah activists, following a suspected attempt to plant an explosive device near the house of a member of Fatah.
PCHRs initial investigation indicates that at approximately 23:15 on Sunday, 21 May 2006, a verbal exchange took place between a Hamas activist and two Fatah members, who were in a red Hyundi in the Abu Toama area of Greater Abasan, east of Khan Yunis. The situation escalated into an exchange of gunfire, leading to the injury of two citizens:
- Mahmoud Borhom Ali Abu Toama (19), injured by a bullet to the head; and
- Mahmoud Mohammad Abu Salah (22), injured by a bullet to the abdomen. He is a member of the Naval Police.
Both were taken to the European Hospital in Khan Yunis and then transferred to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Medical sources announced later that Abu Toamas had died as a result of the severe nature of the injuries he sustained.
In another incident which took place at 1:15 on the same day, an explosive device was detonated at the door of the house of Rafat Salman, a field commander in the Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. The house is in Bloc 5 of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The explosion damaged the house door but no injuries were reported.
At approximately 1:45, an explosive device was detonated at the door of the house of Ibrahim Mohammad Abu Ali, the father of a Hamas activist. The house is in Bloc 8 of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern the Gaza Strip. The explosion damaged the door and windows but no injuries were reported.
At approximately 2:40 an explosive device was detonated at the door of the house of Abdel Jawad Tawfiq Abdel Jawad Zeyada, a Fatah activist, near the Labor Office in Beit Lahya in the northern Gaza Strip. After the explosion, Abdel Jawad and his brothers came out of the house and fired at one of the persons that had detonated the device. He escaped, however, without injury. The explosion damaged the house door and front windows.
At approximately 00:15 on Monday, 22 May 2006, shots were fired near the house of Zeyad Ahmad Abu Hayya, an activist in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the town of Bani Suheila, east of Khan Yunis. The shots were fired at a person riding a jeep, who was suspected of placing an explosive device near Abu Hayyas house. The gunfire resulted in the injury of two civilians in the area:
- Ahmad Ismail Abu Ghanem (23), injured by a bullet to the left leg; and
- Salah Attallah Abu Asi (28), injured by shrapnel to the neck.
PCHR condemns these attacks, and:
- is gravely concerned over the increasing number of deaths and injuries resulting from the use of arms by Palestinian groups, which is part of the ongoing security chaos in the OPT;
- calls upon Palestinian factions to engage in dialogue in order to resolve disputes, and not to resort to violence and use of weapons, which pose a direct threat to the lives of citizens and their security; and
- calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to take special preventive measures to stop the recurrence of these incidents and to protect the safety and security of citizens.
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Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
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