Date: 21 Feb 2007
The state of insecurity saw a new escalation in Gaza as clashes, armed robberies, kidnappings, threatening, and the targeting of public facilities continue.
According to Al Mezan fieldwork information, at app.1.40am on 20 February 2007, gunmen stopped a car at the Al Shohada junction south of Gaza City. They beat the men in the car, stole US$1400 and a cell phone and seized the car belonging to the Director of the Rafah branch of the Detainees Society.
On the same day, at app. 11am, gunmen kidnapped Anas Alhessi, aged 33, and released him after one-and-a-half hours. Further, at app. 2.30am, gunmen threw two Molotov cocktails at the Youth House for Culture and Arts Society, located in Jabalia town, causing massive damage to the theatre hall, the library, computers and loudspeakers. No information is available on the identity of the perpetrators.
At 12.30am, unknown gunmen seized a Volkswagen belonging to the Palestinian TV Satellite Channel while driving down Sheikh Redwan neighborhood in Gaza City. The driver and four employees were forced out of the car as the gunmen fled soon after residents rushed to the place. Further, at app. 5.30pm, Khalil Abu Teer, aged 21, was injured in his chest by accident, while playing with his gun. He was transferred to Nasser hospital in Khan Younis. According to medics, he sustained moderate wounds.
In another incident, at app. 2pm on 21 February 2007, a bomb exploded at the door of Col. Abdel Nasser Doghmosh‘s house, Director of Police Forces in the Gaza Strip, causing damage to the house‘s door and windows.
Al Mezan condemns the continued state of insecurity and the ineffective role of the PNA in maintaining law and order, especially the Ministry of Interior and Security Apparatuses which have failed to prevent and/or investigate armed robbery. Al Mezan also condemns the attacks on NGOs and individuals.
Al Mezan therefore calls upon the PNA to initiate investigations into such incidents and to take immediate steps to bring the perpetrators to justice. At the same time, the Center emphasizes the occurrence of other crimes with dire implications on society, such as the stealing of electric cables and cars spare parts. It questions the PNA‘s continued failure to identify perpetrators and bring charges to courts. The Center asserts that the PNA is under a clear obligation to protect civilians and their property in the Gaza Strip.