The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns the assassination committed by unknown gunmen early this morning, which killed Major General Mousa Arafat, the Military Advisor of the Palestinian President. Arafat’s son was also kidnapped by the gunmen who stormed the family’s house in Gaza City. PCHR considers this crime an escalation of the state of security chaos in the Palestinian territories, which undermines the rule of law.
According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 03:45 on Wednesday, 8 September 2005, dozens of gunmen armed with machine guns and anti-tank RBJ missiles and traveling in at least 20 vehicles stormed the house of Major General Mousa Arafat, 69, the Military Advisor of the Palestinian President and the former commander of the Military Intelligence, in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in the southwest of Gaza City. They defeated the guards after exchanging fire with them. Three guards were injured and others were handcuffed by the gunmen. The attackers were able to break into the house. They took Aarafat out and shot him from close range. Then, they carried him towards a main street in the neighborhood and fired several live bullets again at his head. The gunmen also kidnapped Arafat’s son, Manhal, 38, an officer of the Military Intelligence. The fate of the son is still unknown.
PCHR strongly condemns this crime and remains gravely concerned at the deterioration in the internal security situation and believes that this latest crimes constitutes a serious escalation of the state of security chaos. PCHR asserts that regardless of the drive for this assassination, those responsible for corruption can be held accountable by legal bodies and the judiciary, and strongly rejects the use of violence and weapons which threaten the safety and security of the Palestinian society.
PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to effectively investigate this assassination, uncover its details and bring the perpetrators to justice. PCHR calls upon the PNA to investigate the delay of arrival of security services at the scene even though the office of the Palestinian President is only 300 meters away from Arafat’s house and the headquarters of the Preventive Security is also very close. PCHR believes that such crimes undermine the rule of law.