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PCHR Warns of Escalating Social Violence Phenomenon and Calls on Competent Authorities to Take Measures to End this Phenomenon to Protect Civil Peace

Ref: 98/2020

26 September 2020

Time: 12:30 GMT


On Friday, 25 September 2020, many regions in the Gaza strip witnessed  family disputes in which firearms and cold weapons were used and stones were thrown. As a result, 4 civilians were shot with live bullets, 4 of them sustained critical wounds, and 4 others were injured with sharp tools.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned over the increasing social violence phenomenon lately, including the use of weapons in family and personal disputes, which jeopardize Palestinian civil peace and the rule of law. PCHR also calls upon the competent authorities to take necessary measures to put an end to this phenomenon.

In Gaza City, a family dispute occurred on Friday evening, in which firearms were used. As a result, 4 civilians were shot and injured, 2 of them were seriously injured. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 22:00 on Friday, 25 September 2020, a family dispute occurred between al-Sersawi family and Sa’ad family on al-Montar street in al- Shujaiya neighborhood, east of Gaza City; the dispute escalated, and weapon were used, and both families threw stones at each other. As a result, 4 citizens were shot and injured with live bullets. They were transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Doctors classified 2 injuries as serious. The wounded civilians were identified as:

  1. Basel Mousa al-Sersawi (30) was shot with a live bullet in his testicle and his health condition is serious;
  2. Osama Nayef al-Sersawi (40), a police officer, who was not in his official shift during the dispute, was shot with a live bullet in his back;
  3. Tareq Adham al-Sersawi (24) was shot with a live bullet in his left hand; and
  4. Mohammed Mesbah Sa’ad (30) was shot with a live bullet in his right hand.

Lieutenant Colonel Ayman al-Batniji, Spokesperson of the police in Gaza, said that the police rushed to the heavy shooting scene, which resulted from the renewal of family disputes between al-Sersawi and Sa’ad families. The police dispersed the dispute and arrested members of both families.

In Khan Yunis, clashes continued between Shurrab and Barbakh families after a bloody dispute broke out last Saturday, in which firearms were used. This dispute resulted in the injury of 3 citizens with live bullets and 5 police officers with stones; one of them sustained critical wounds. During the past days, several shooting and stone-throwing incidents occurred between the mentioned families, but no injuries among them were reported. Also, sharp tools were used in these incidents, which resulted in the injury of 3 members from Shurrab family; their injuries were classified between minor and moderate. It should be noted that the police launched an arrest campaign against Shurrab and Barbakh families, in which more than 150 persons were arrested.

In Rafah, at approximately 17:00 on Friday, a family dispute erupted between Abu ‘Edwan and Abu Bakra families in al-Shawka village in eastern Rafah. As a result, Ibrahim Thabet Abu ‘Edwan (19) was hit with a sharp tool in his left elbow, and his condition was deemed moderate. The police stated that it opened an investigation into the incident.

PCHR is deeply concerned over the increasing social violence phenomenon and misuse of weapons in family and personal disputes, which threatens civil peace. PCHR also warns of inflicting more casualties among the citizens.

PCHR calls upon the competent authorities to investigate all these incidents, prosecute those responsible and bring them to justice. PCHR also calls upon the competent authorities to enforce more stringent measures in the face of the increasing manifestations of the weapons use outside the rule of law, especially in recent times, which resulted in the death and injury of several Palestinians.