According to PCHR’s initial investigations, at around 0030 on Wednesday, July the 20th members of the Preventive Security located in front of their headquarters in Gaza City opened fire on a vehicle driven by a member of Eiz al Din al Qassam Brigades (the military wing of the Hamas movement). The driver remains unidentified at this stage.
After almost 30 minutes a press conference was held jointly between Sofian Abu Ziada, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Prisoner’s and ex-Prisoner’s Minister (as a representative of both Fatah and the PNA) and Dr. Nizar Riyan, a leading member of Hamas. At the press conference they announced that the two sides had reached an agreement to end the clashes and to put an end to their armed presence in the streets.
Two hours later unknown militants opened fire towards several houses and offices of both PNA and Fatah leaders and Commanders of the Security Forces. Militants carried out their attacks using civilian vehicles and from the roof-tops of near-by houses and even from Mosques. Security Forces returned fire and clashes were witnessed in different areas of Gaza City until 0430. The houses which were attacked belonged to: Rashid Abu Shebak, Head of the Preventive Security; Majid Abu Shammala, Member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council; Abdullah al Efranji, A senior official in Fatah; Col. Fa’isl Abu Sharkh, Head of Force 17; and Col. Nabil Tamus, from the Preventative Security.
The attackers also fired at the office of Sameer Masharawi, a leading Fatah member as well as at the HQ of the Preventive Security. As a result of these attacks five people were injured, two of them guarding the home of Abdul al Efranji, two other guarding Rasheed Abu Shebak and the fifth was one of the attackers. (None of them were taken to hospitals and they remain unidentified).
PCHR strongly condemns these ongoing clashes and attacks which constitute a threat to the lives and safety of Palestinian civilians and their property. PCHR re-states its position that all parties must immediately end the fighting and that all Palestinian factions must intervene to ensure that a peaceful resolution is realised.