Violent clashes broke out between Fatah and Hamas in Beit Hanoun before midnight on 10 March 2007. Clashes erupted in the area close to Omar Abdul Aziz Mosque in the town and spread to different neighborhoods at night. The clashes have continued until today, 11 March 2007.
According to Al Mezan‘s information, the clashes resulted in the killing of 26-year-old Hussein Al Kafarnah, a member of the Executive Force, and the injury of eight others. One of them is in a critical condition. In addition, many houses were subject to anti-tank rocket fire and destroyed or damaged. Other public facilities were also attacked, including the National Security‘s Third Battalion HQ, the Presidential Guards‘ HQ and a training site linked to Fatah, which was under-construction. Further, the office of Fatah in Beit Hanoun was set on fire and destroyed.
It was also reported that tension still prevails in Beit Hanoun where gunmen remain deployed at crossroads and in the streets.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is highly concerned by the deterioration of the situation in Beit Hanoun. It condemns the clashes which contradict the positive atmosphere that has prevailed since the conclusion of the Mecca agreement and the progress in the negotiations to form a national unity government, which has brought a sense of calm and optimism within the Palestinian society.
Al Mezan strongly condemns the killings and the destruction of private and public property during the renewed armed clashes between Fatah and Hamas. This situation threatens the personal and collective security of Palestinians and a return to resorting to the use of arms and violence, which lead to serious violations of human rights.
Al Mezan therefore reiterates its demands to initiate prompt and effective investigation into these incidents to contain and limit them. The Center reminds the PNA that it has clear obligations to maintain law and order through a legal process through which it protects the population under its control. Those who ordered or perpetrated breaches of the law must be brought to justice without delay.