Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Rights group demands access to Palestinian prisoners in Gaza

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has been denied access to clients detained by the Internal Security Service (ISS) of the Government in Gaza. PCHR affirm that such measures violate Palestinian law and relevant international standards, including the detainees’ right to have access to legal counsel. PCHR is further concerned that access restrictions may be motivated by the desire to hide illegal practices against detainees, including torture and other forms of cruel treatment. 

Six killed in Palestinian Authority house raid

On Saturday evening, 30 May 2009, armed clashes occurred between members of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) and Palestinian security services. The incident took place in the northern West Bank town of Qalqiliya. The clashes continued until the early morning of Sunday, 31 May 2009, and resulted in six deaths (two members of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, the owner of a house in which the two members harbored and three security officers). A number of other persons were also wounded. 

"Life is blind now"

Mahmoud Mattar spent his 15th birthday in February this year, lying in the intensive care unit of Egypt’s Sheikh Zayid hospital. He is one of the 1,606 children who were injured during Israel’s military offensive on Gaza, some of who sustained horrific disabilities, head and spinal injuries, facial disfigurement, burns and amputation. 

Gaza farmers commemorate Land Day

As farmer Jamal al-Bassyuni plucked a stalk of ripening wheat, a posse of young men danced in his field. The dancers were flanked by a lively crowd, many of them women wearing the traditional Palestinian embroidered thob dress. Despite the nearby rubble of destroyed houses, and tracts of land laid to waste by bulldozers and tanks, the mood was defiantly sunny. Local farmers and their supporters were celebrating Palestinian Land Day. 

BMW garage among the targets of Israel's attacks

Nasser al-Amoudi, with his biker’s jacket and sunglasses, embodies the essence of a car enthusiast. For years he has been the proud owner of the only BMW spare parts shop in the Gaza Strip. People would travel from every corner to purchase second hand parts from his shop. Now Nasser’s workshop and garage, which were worth $300,000 before the Israeli army destroyed them during its latest offensive, lie in tatters, and his financial security has gone. 

Rights org: Medical patients are not political pawns

On the afternoon of 22 March 2009, the Ministry of Health in Gaza took control of the Department of External Medical Treatment. Officials from the Gaza Ministry of Health demanded that the director of the Department relinquish control of all offices in the Gaza Strip. The director, Dr. Bassam al-Badri, had been appointed by the government in Ramallah with the approval of the Gaza government. 

Family grieves killing of 13-year-old

On 14 February 2009, almost a month after Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, 13-year-old Hammad Silmiya was grazing his sheep and goats in northeast Gaza, about 500 meters from the border with Israel. An Israeli military jeep patrolling the border opened fire on him and his teenage friends. Hammad was shot in the head and he died almost instantly. 

Lives buried under the rubble in Gaza

Three weeks after the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, 16-year-old Maysa al-Louh sits stoically on the pile of sand that consumes half her home in Beit Lahiya. Under the sand, churned up by Israeli bulldozers during incursions into the area on 4 January 2009 lie all her report cards and school awards that were testament to her excellent academic record. 

Gaza's forgotten elderly

At the nursing home of al-Wafaa Hospital in the northeastern Gaza Strip, frail women lie curled in their beds, most of them bedridden. In Gaza’s close-knit society, nursing homes are not very common, as most people prefer to care for their elderly family members at home. However, the patients at al-Wafaa have nowhere else to go. While many reports have been released on the effect of the conflict on children, other vulnerable groups such as the elderly and disabled are often disregarded. 

After ceasefire, Gazans still don't feel safe

Foreign correspondents and camera crews have now begun to leave Gaza, in search of the next headline grabbing location. But ongoing air strikes and violations of international law are a stark reminder that there is no real end to Israel’s offensive here. Since Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on 18 January it has continued to launch strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip. Some families in the southern town of Rafah have been evacuated from their homes up to ten times in the last 15 days.