Tension between Fatah and Hamas continues

In the latest clash between armed groups in the Gaza Strip, unidentified gunmen fired at Abdel Hadi Seyam, a member of the Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades in Gaza City. He was seriously injured in the chest. Prior to this incident, nine people were injured, including a child, in armed clashes between members of the Preventive Security Apparatus and members of the Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades in Khan Yunis. Unknown gunmen also shot Khader Afana, an officer in the Preventive Security Apparatus, in Gaza City. He died of serious injuries sustained in the attack.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 03:00 on Saturday, 3 June 2006, unidentified gunmen traveling in two cars fired at Abdel Hadi Seyam, a 31-year-old resident of Beach Camp in Gaza City. He is a leader in the Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas). The incident took place in the Mashtal area of Beach Camp. The gunmen fled the scene after injuring Seyam seriously in the chest. He was taken to Shifa Hospital suffering from serious bullet wounds to the chest. After undergoing the necessary medical operations, his colleagues took him to an undisclosed location.

At approximately 21:00 on Thursday, 1 June 2006, clashes erupted between members of the Preventive Security Apparatus and Hamas members near the house of Zaki Abdel Mawla El-Derdeisi, a 48-year-old Hamas activist living in the El-Romeida area of Bani Suheila (east of Khan Yunis). During the clashes, members of the Preventive Security withdrew from the area. Eight of them went to the house of Suliman El-Abded El-Breim. The house has three floors and houses four families (21 people in total). The Preventive Security personnel entered the house at gunpoint and barricaded themselves inside. The house residents managed to flee from a back window. Members of Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades surrounded the house and clashed with the barricaded Preventive Security members. In addition, members of the Izzedeen El-Qassam Brigades deployed in the surrounding area and streets. Hamas members burned two jeeps belonging to the Preventive Security Apparatus. At approximately 01:30 on Friday, 2 June 2006, the clashes ended after mediators intervened on both sides. The clashes resulted in nine people being injured, including a member of the Preventive Security and three civilians (two from the families of the besieged house, including a child). The injured included:

  • Khaled Nassar Dahliz, a 36-year-old member of Preventive Security from Rafah. He was injured by a bullet to the left leg;
  • Atef Ahmad Suliman, 24, a passerby injured by shrapnel in the limbs;
  • El-Abed Suliman El-Breim, 15, injured by shrapnel in the right hand; and
  • Fayez Suliman El-Breim, 2, injured in the right foot.

    The identity of the other casualties is unknown. They were treated in Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis without giving their names to the hospital staff.

    At approximately 22:10 on Thursday, unknown gunmen in a civilian car fired at Khader Mohammad Afana, a 40-year-old officer in the Preventive Security, as he was leaving a shop in the Naser area of Gaza City. He sustained serious injured and was taken to Shifa Hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

    Following Afana’s death, scores of gunmen stormed the hospital and fired heavily in the courtyard and inside the hospital buildings. They assaulted some doctors and destroyed furniture in the surgery theater, reception and emergency ward. Afterwards, Fatah members threw rocks at members of the newly-commissioned Executive Force of the Ministry of Interior and National Security. The demonstrators burned a vehicle belonging to the force, whose members withdrew from the area.

    PCHR is gravely concerned over the continued escalation in the use of arms by groups and individuals, which is a further aggravating the security chaos currently plaguing the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Centre calls upon the PNA, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these incidents and 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.