Al-Sabra neighborhood in the east of Gaza City witnessed bloody clashes between the Palestinian police and gunmen from the Dughmosh clan. The clashes erupted on Monday evening and continued until Tuesday morning. Ten members of the Dughmosh clan, including two children, and a police officer were killed, and another 42 persons, including 10 police officers, were wounded.
The clashes erupted after a police officer, Abdul Karim Aadel Khuzaiq (20) was killed by a gunshot to the head, and another was wounded in an exchange of fire between the police and a suspect, Jameel Dughmosh, when the police attempted to arrest him inside the headquarters of the Municipality of Gaza.
According to initial investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 4pm on Monday, 15 September 2008, the police besieged a housing compound in al-Sabra neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, where members of the Dughmosh clan live. They called on three members of the clan to surrender, but the three members refused. Soon after, armed clashes erupted between the two sides. The clashes escalated at midnight. Machine guns and bombs were used in the clashes and heavy explosions were heard. The clashes continued until 7am on Tuesday, 16 September 2008. They left 10 members of the Dughmosh clan, including two children, and a police officer killed and 42 persons, including a woman and 10 police officers, wounded. PCHR is investigating information that the body of one of the dead, Jameel Dughmosh, was taken to the house of officer of Abdul Karim Khuzaiq, who was killed yesterday, where a number of gunmen fired at the body.
According to medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, those who were killed in the clashes are:
- Ahmed Mahmoud Dughmosh (18 months) hit by a gunshot to the head
- Ibrahim Farouq Dughmosh (16) hit by several gunshots to the head and the chest
- Jameel Farouq Dughmosh (23) hit by several gunshots throughout the body
- Jameel Jamal Dughmosh (19) hit by several gunshots to the neck and the limbs
- Saeb Akram Dughmosh (23) hit by a gunshot to the chest
- Faraj Jamal Dughmosh (25) hit by a gunshot to the head
- Yousef Darouq Dughmosh (19) hit by a gunshot to the chest
- Abed Zaki Dugmosh (25) hit by two gunshots to the head and the chest
- Mahmoud Akram Dughmosh (19) hit by a gunshot to the chest
- Mohammed Farouq Dughmosh (21) hit by several gunshots to the abdomen and the legs
- Sameh Mahmoud al-Naji (21) a police officer, hit by a gunshot to the head
Although PCHR realizes the enormous security difficulties and challenges, it:
- Calls for investigating these clashes and the circumstances in which 11 persons, including two children, were killed, to find out whether all victims were involved in the clashes.
- Stresses that concerned authorities have the right to arrest suspects of assaults against the rule of law, but in accordance with legal procedures related to arrests and house searches.
- Emphasizes the importance of having strict rules that regulate the use of weapons and firearms by law enforcement officials to ensure non-employment of excessive force, commitment to the principles of proportionality and discrimination, and respect for international human rights standards, in order to maintain the safety and security of civilians.
- Reiterates its position that the weapons of clans are part of the state of security chaos and assaults against the rule of law, and it is unacceptable under any circumstances to turn residential areas into stores of weapons.