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Infant Killed and her Brother Injured by Mishandled Weapon in Beit Lahia

Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Personnel

Field Update

27 September 2006

 

Infant Killed and her Brother Injured by Mishandled Weapon in Beit Lahia

Yesterday, a 7-month old infant girl (Malak Darwish) was killed, and her 5-year old brother (Moussa Darwish) was injured, when their older brother played with a firearm in the town of Beit Lahia, in the north of the Gaza Strip.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 11:35 on Tuesday, 26 September 2006, a few bullets were accidentally fired from an assault rifle by Mohannad Mahdi Moussa Darwish, an 11-year old boy. He was playing with the weapon inside his house in the main street in Beit Lahia. The bullets killed his infant sister Malak (7 months) who was struck in the head, and injured his brother Moussa (5-year old) in the left hand.

The two children were taken to Kamal Odwan Hospital in Beit Lahia. The infant’s body was transferred to the forensic medicine department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City; whereas the boy remained under treatment for moderate injuries.

It is noted that the rifle belongs to Mahdi Moussa Darwish (31) who works in the National Security Force. It was hidden in a cloth closet inside the house.

PCHR is concerned over the continued falling of victims, mostly children, due to the misuse of weapons, which is part of the security chaos plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to take effective preventive measures to prevent these accidents and protect the safety of civilians. The Centre calls upon Palestinian officials and parents to take care against children playing with guns or suspicious objects, which constitute a real threat to their lives.