Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Date: 04 January 2005
Time: 12:30 GMT
Two Citizens Killed in a Family Quarrel in Khan Yunis and Gunmen Raid Public
Institutions in Rafah
The past 48 hours witnessed bloody clashes between two families in Khan
Yunis. Two citizens were killed, and 6 others, including 5 children, were
injured. Armed members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, affiliated to the
Fatah movement, attacked a number of public institutions in Rafah, attempted
to close Rafah International Crossing Point and attempted to kidnap the
parents of Rachel Corrie.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Monday morning, 2 January
2006, a quarrel broke out between school children from the al-Masri and Taha
families at a school in Khan Yunis. The quarrel developed into an exchange
of fire between the two sides after school had finished and members of the
two families became involved in the quarrel. Three children from the
al-Masri family were injured by live bullets.
On Tuesday morning, 3 January 2006, armed clashes between the two families
were renewed. As a result, Suleiman Mohammed al-Masri, 24, was killed by a
live bullet to the neck, and a member of the Abu Taha family was injured in
the back. At approximately 20:00 on the same day, clashes broke out between
the two families again. The families used hand grenades and firearms in
these clashes. The clashes which continued until the following morning left
Jihad Ibrahim al-Masri, aged18, dead. He was hit by a live bullet to the
On Wednesday morning, 4 January 2006, clashes broke out between the two
families in the Jourat al-Lout area, where the families live. Two children
were injured by live bullets. Tension has spread and the Palestinian police
have not yet intervened to end the clashes.
Last December, a similar family quarrel erupted in Beit Hanoun. It left 7
people dead and injured at least 40 others, including 5 children. These
incidents reflect the state of security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory and the failure of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to
take effective measures to stop such incidents.
On Wednesday morning, 4 January 2006, chaos spread across the Rafah area as
members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades attempted to close Rafah
International Crossing Point. They also attacked a number of public and
private institutions in the town, including the Municipality of Rafah, the
Ministry of Interior, the office of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the
office of the Central Election Commission, the Electricity Company, the
Ministry of Religious Endowments and the Ministry of National Economy.
Additionally, an armed group attempted to kidnap the parents of Rachel
Corrie, who was killed by a bulldozer of Israeli Occupation Forces in Rafah
in March 2003, while she was attempting to stop house demolition. The
Corries are visiting the Gaza Strip to express solidarity with the
Palestinian people. They visited PCHR on Tuesday. The kidnapping attempt
failed and the parents were not hurt. These incidents took place after the
PNA had arrested 'Alaa' al-Hams, 33, from Rafah, accusing him of kidnapping
Kate Burton, a British citizen, and her parents last week. The protestors
demanded the PNA to release al-Hams.
PCHR is gravely concerned at the ongoing state of security chaos, and
strongly condemns family quarrels and the use of weapons:
1. PCHR calls upon the PNA to fulfill its obligations to ensure
public order and the security of citizens and to enforce the rule of law.
2. PCHR calls upon the Attorney General to investigate these
incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.
3. PCHR calls upon national parties to confront the state of security
chaos and make efforts to enforce the rule of law.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8
2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail: email@example.com, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org
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