The spokesman for the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank city of Nablus, Mahdi Abu Ghazaleh, shows the pistols found on the French diplomatic staff, 23 January 2007. Three French nationals, on a diplomatic mission in Nablus, were briefly kidnapped by the Al-Aqsa Brigades on Tuesday, who mistook them for undercover Israeli soldiers. (MaanImages/Rami Swidan)
One Killed in Rafah in a Personal Dispute
On Tuesday evening, 23 January 2007, S’oud ‘Ouda al-Qadhi, 33, from Rafah, was killed by unknown gunmen.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 20:30 on Tuesday, 23 January 2007, unknown gunmen fired at al-Qadhi when he was traveling in his car in al-Shouka village east of Rafah. He was seriously wounded by a live bullet to the abdomen. He was evacuated to the hospital, but medical efforts to save his life failed. According to initial information available to PCHR, al-Qadhi was killed because of a financial conflict among members of his clan.
PCHR is gravely concerned over the continuation of the use of weapons in personal and family disputes, which is further aggravating the state of lawlessness and misuse of weapons prevailing in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate such attacks and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
French Vice-Consul and Guards Released after being Held for Hours in Nablus
In the evening of Tuesday, 23 January 2007, an armed group affiliated with Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, released the French vice-consul and his two guards in Nablus. The trio was detained in Nablus for hours as they were suspected of being undercover Israeli army operatives.
PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 14:15 on Tuesday, an armed group of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades kidnapped three French nationals in the Shuhada Square area in the center of Nablus. They were taken to an undisclosed location in the old city of Nablus. Eye witnesses stated that Palestinian Police drove the Frenchmen’s car, an armored jeep, to the Police Station in Faisal Street in Nablus. However, gunmen burned the vehicle after it was parked in front of the Police Station.
At approximately 18:00, the kidnappers released the three Frenchmen after it became clear that they were the French vice-consul and two guards. The French consul arrived in Nablus and verified the identity of his countrymen. In a press conference, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades stated that they believed the three Frenchmen to be Israeli undercover operatives because they were armed, and were in a sensitive area for wanted Palestinians.
PCHR strongly condemns all crimes and transgressions of the rule of law. These crimes are a continuum of the security chaos plaguing the OPT, especially over the past two years, in the absence of serious legal measures by the PNA to prosecute perpetrators and bring them to justice.