PCHR Calls for an End of Violence between Fatah and Hamas

Palestinian gunmen from Fatah movement attend a rally in the Gaza Strip, January 7, 2007. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh)


The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights strongly condemns bloody incidents in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), especially the Gaza Strip, that have taken place in the context of the persistent political conflict between Hamas and Fatah movements. This conflict has been translated into violent armed clashes between armed wings of the two movements, among security services and among clans, in addition to other attacks. In the past 6 days, 16 persons have been killed and 117 others have been wounded as an outcome of these incidents.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR:

On Saturday evening, 6 January 2007, Hasan Nader al-Dairi, 55, Mohammed Ahmed al-Dairi, 32, and Ahmed Hasan al-Dairi, 28, were killed and 3 other members of the same clan were wounded during armed clashes with the Dughmosh clan in al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City. Earlier on the same day, armed members of the Dughmosh clan abducted 4 members of Hamas in Gaza City and took them to an unknown destination. Even though the two clans clashed last year for clan differences, the Dughmosh clan accuses a member of the al-Dairi clan of killing Mahmoud and Ashraf Dughmosh in an armed clash with the Executive Force of the Ministry of Interior on 20 December 2006.

At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 5 January 2007, unknown gunmen traveling in a civilian car (a white Mitsubishi) opened fire at Sheikh ‘Aadel Hasan Nassar, 50, who was traveling in another civilian car (a yellow Mercedes) near al-Maghazi intersection on Salah al-Din road in the central Gaza Strip. Shiekh Nassar and one of his colleagues were wounded. They were evacuated to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, but Sheikh Nassar died from his wound. At the same time, a number of gunmen opened fire at members of the Executive Force in al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City. Two members of the Executive Force and a child were wounded. In the early morning, gunmen threw hand grenades at 3 houses belonging to members of Hamas in al-Nusairat and al-Boreij refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.

At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 4 January 2007, two persons were wounded during an exchange of fire between members of Fatah movement who were participating in the funeral procession of 3 members of the Preventive Security Service, who had been killed on the preceding day (see below), and members of Hamas near al-‘Awda Mosque in al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. At approximately 13:00 on the same day, 5 persons were wounded during an exchange of fire in similar circumstances in Deir al-Balah.

On Thursday, 4 January 2007, Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip witnessed bloody incidents. At approximately 14:00, Ayman ‘Essam Subeh, 26, a member of the Executive Force, was shot dead by unknown gunmen, when he was walking near a house belonging to Colonel Mohammed Ghrayeb (Abu al-Majd) in al-Falouja area. Soon after, members of the Executive Force besieged Colonel Ghrayeb’s house. Some of them took positions atop of neighboring houses a the minaret of a mosque. Members of the Executive Force fired live bullets and shells at Colonel Ghrayeb’s house. The Executive Force continued to besiege and fire at the house until 19:00, during which time 3 persons who were inside the house were killed:

1) Eihab Yousef al-Mabhouh, 28, a bodyguard of Colonel Ghrayeb; 2) Shadi Jaber Khalil, 22, a member of Fatah movement; and 3) Ahmed Suhail al-Shurbaji, 18, a member of the Military Intelligence.

In addition, 59 persons, including Ghrayeb’s wife, were wounded. At approximately 19:00, a peaceful demonstration was organized in the refugee camp. The demonstrators moved towards Colonel Ghrayeb’s house demanding lifting the siege imposed on the house and a ceasefire. When the demonstrators got close to the house, members of the Executive Force opened fire at them. Shadi Kamal Abu ‘Asser, 18, was killed, and 30 others were wounded. One of the wounded, 17-year-old Mohammed Ameen al-Liddawi, died from his wound on the following day. At approximately 19:30, members of the Executive Force broke into Colonel Ghrayeb’s house opening fire. During this raid, 3 persons who were inside the house were killed:

1) Colonel Mohammed Diab Ghrayeb, 48; 2) Hussein Ahmed Abu Ehlayel, 43; and 3) Wa’el Hasan Ghrayeb, 35.

Members of the executive force remained inside the house for nearly two hours and a half, during which time they prevented ambulances from attending the house to evacuate the victims, and fire engines from extinguishing fire that broke out in parts of the house and 6 cars in front of it. At approximately 22:00, members of the Executive Force left the house after kidnapping 25 members of the Ghrayeb clan. They took members of the Ghrayeb clan to unknown destinations and violently beat them. They then dumped the abducted persons into several areas in the refugee camp.

At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 3 January 2007, an exchange of fire erupted between members of Fatah movement and those of the Executive Force after the latter burnt a car belonging to Colonel Mohammed Ghrayeb, in which two of his relatives were traveling, near Abu Sharekh intersection in the west of Jabalya refugee camp. The exchange of fire continued for two hours, during which time Muna Saleh Salha, 22, was killed, when she was in the balcony of her house, and 4 members of the Executive Force and a civilian bystander were wounded.

Also at approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 3 January 2007, unknown gunmen abducted Mo’taz ‘Abdul Shakour al-Tawil, 34, an officer of the Preventive Security Service (PSS), after having wounded him with 3 live bullets to the left leg, when he was walking in the center of Khan Yunis. Following this attack, an exchange of fire erupted between PSS members and other gunmen in al-Mawasi area in the west of Khan Yunis. A PSS member was wounded. During the evacuation of the wounded PSS member to Nasser Hopsital in Khan Yunis, and exchange of fire erupted between PSS members and those of the Executive Force inside the hospital. Three PSS members were killed:

1) Ussama ‘Adnan al-Shami, 21, from al-Nusairat refugee camp; 2) Anwar Ibrahim al-Najjar, 23, from al-Maghazi refugee camp; and 3) Ussama Yousef Nassar, 22, from Deir al-Balah town.

At approximately 21:00 on the same day, al-Tawil was released.

At approximately 16:40 on Monday, 1 January 2007, a member of the Executive Force was wounded during and exchange of fire when members of the Executive Force attempted to arrest Wa’el Nahedh al-Mashi, 27, from his house in al-‘Alami area in the northern Gaza Strip. At approximately 17:00, members of the Executive Force raided al-Mashi’s house and took him and his brother Na’el to an unknown destination.

At approximately 18:00 on the same day, members of the Executive Force fired a shell at al-Madhoun stores in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia. As a result, the owner, Rabah al-Madhoun, and a worker were wounded. They were evacuated to al-‘Awda Hospital in Jabalya refugee camp. However, members of the Executive Force broke into the hospital. The held the staff in the emergency department and took al-Madhoun to an unknown destination. Soon after, Sameeh al-Madhoun, a leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (the armed wing of Fatah movement), abducted 5 members of the Executive Force in the town. Later, all hostages were released following an agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah movements.

At approximately 22:15 on the same day, members of the Executive Force fired 3 shells at a house belonging to Rashed Abu ‘Ajina, a leader of Fatah movement, in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia. Soon after, and exchange of fire erupted between the two sides, during which 3 civilian bystanders, including Abu ‘Ajina’s wife, were wounded. At approximately 09:20 on the following day, members of the Executive Force attempted to break into Abu ‘Ajina’s house to arrest him, but an exchange of fire erupted between the two sides, during which two members of the Executive Force were wounded.

PCHR strongly condemns bloody incidents the OPT, which are part of the state of security chaos and misuse of weapons:

1. Calls upon all parties to resort to dialogue and abstain from using violence and weapons in internal differences.

2. Calls for ending all aspects of militarization in the streets and residential areas and allowing the civil police to assume their duties to keep security and order.

3. Calls for the establishment of a judicial investigations committee to investigate all incidents and take appropriate legal measures against all those engaged in them whatever their affiliations are.

4. Calls upon all nationalist and Islamist parties to make efforts to end tension between Hamas and Fatah movement, and ensure bringing them back to dialogues.

5. Calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to reform and restructure its security services on professional foundations, to unify them under one central command to serve as law enforcement force that has the duty to protect the safety and security of people, and to ensure that they will never be politicized or engage in any conflicts.

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