Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms

Teenage Girl Killed by Shots Fired during a Wedding and Two Injured, including a child, in Khan Yunis

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 16:40 on Monday, 3 July 2006, the body of Amani Yousef Mohammad El-Riqib (17) arrived at Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis. After examination, it was determined that the girl had been hit by a bullet to the head that had killed her instantly. The bullet hit the victim accidentally, while a gunman was firing shots in the air during her brother’s wedding. The victim was from the town of Bani Suheila, east of Khan Yunis.

This is the second incident of its kind in less than ten days. On 25 June 2006, Anas Mohammad Khayri Abdel Jabbar Yassin (13) was hit by a bullet to the chest during a wedding in the village of Barqa. The child is from Aseera El-Shamaleyya village near Nablus.

At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 4 July 2006, Abdel Raziq Adel Eid El-Ghalban, a 21-year-old resident of the Ma’an area in Khan Yunis, was admitted to Naser Hospital. He had been injured by a bullet to the head. The bullet had been fired accidentally from a gun that was mishandled by one of his brothers. The injury was described as moderate.

Tha’er Mahmoud Abu Dakka, a 16-year-old resident of El-Farahin area in Greater Abasan, was injured by shrapnel to different parts of the body. The injuries were caused by the explosion of an unknown device, while the boy was burning weeds around his house. He was taken to Naser Hospital, where his injuries were listed as moderate.

PCHR is gravely concerned over the continued number of deaths and injuries resulting from the misuse of weapons, which has become a prominent feature of the ongoing security chaos in the region. The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority to take preventive measures to prevent such incidents and safeguard the safety of citizens.

Armed Group Fires Shots inside the European Hospital and Kidnaps a Member of the Hospital Staff

This morning a number of gunmen stormed the European Hospital in Khan Yunis in protest against the kidnapping of their relative from the hospital by unknown assailants. The gunmen kidnapped a member of the hospital’s staff, claiming that his relatives had kidnapped the gunmen’s relative.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 07:15 on Tuesday, 4 July 2006, masked gunmen traveling in two cars intercepted a taxi near Al-Awda School in Greater Abasan. The gunmen abducted one of the men in the taxi, 22-year-old Mohammad Yousef Abu Dakka, who works in the Special Police Force. At approximately 09:30, the gunmen dropped the kidnapped policeman near the European Hospital. He had bruises all over his body, sustained during a beating inflicted by the gunmen.

At approximately 09:30, a number of people, including some carrying arms, stormed the European Hospital and attempted to abduct Hussein Mahmoud El-Ghalban (40), who is an ambulance driver. The assailants claimed that El-Ghalban’s family had been behind the earlier kidnapping. When the hospital staff tried to prevent the kidnapping, the gunmen fired shots in the hospital, and forced El-Ghalban to leave with them. They took him to an unknown location. After one hour, the kidnappers released the ambulance driver, who stated that he had been beaten by the abductors. The staff in the hospital suspended work in protest against the kidnapping and beating of their colleague.

PCHR condemns this attack, and points with concern to the increasing number of attacks on public figures and institutions, which threaten the lives of staff in these institutions. These attacks are part of the security chaos plaguing the OPT. The Centre reiterates its call to the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an independent legal body based in Gaza City dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, the Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award for Human Rights.