Summon and Arrest Campaign Against Fatah Members In Gaza

Article – Palestinian Centre For Human Rights

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned over the summon and arrest campaign launched by the Internal Security Service (ISS) against members of Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip in the past days. PCHR calls upon the government in Gaza to fully abide by the law and stop arrests on political grounds.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, the campaign was implemented by ISS against 16 Fatah members throughout the Gaza Strip in the past days. According to statements of some of the arrested persons and their families, the campaign started with summons that were sent to the majority of the arrested persons to refer to the ISS head office each in his area and/or arresting them from their houses after searching the houses or other places they were in, in addition to confiscating PC sets. The campaign targeted a number of Fatah leaders, including current and former province secretaries, area secretaries and other members. The arrested persons were questioned on giving money to families of Fatah members who were wounded or killed during the events of June 2007. 

In the northern Gaza Strip, on Friday, 09 August 2013, the ISS summoned and arrested 9 members of Fatah movement. The majority of them were summoned to the ISS head office, while 2 of them were arrested. The arrested persons were:

1.     Abdul Aziz Hassan al-Maqadma (46), an area secretary of Fatah movement, who was arrested from his house in al-Etisalat area. The ISS officers searched the house and confiscated a PC set. It should be noted that al-Maqadma suffers from thyroid disorders and has been under detention so far.

2.     Walid Ahmed Sbeih (42), an area secretary of Fatah movement, from Beer al-Na’jah area. He was arrested on 09 August evening from al-Falouja area.

The other seven persons who were summoned are:

1.     Abdul Jawad Tawfiq Ziada (42), a member of Fatah movement and director of Hope and Life Association, from Beit Lahia housing project;

2.     Ra’ed Abdul Halim Abu Hussein (41), a member of Fatah movement, from Jabalia refugee camp;

3.     Jalil Abdul Hadi Ishtaiwi (47) member of Fatah movement, from Beit Lahia;

4.     Issa Abdul Hay Darweesh (35), an area secretary of Fatah movement, from Beit Lahia housing project;

5.     Maher Ramadan al-Shenbari (43), an activist of Fatah movement, from Beit Hanoun;

6.     Mahmoud Awad (40), an activist of Fatah movement, from Jabalia; and

7.     Maher Ibrahim Abu Harbid (52), the northern Gaza Strip secretary of Fatah movement, from Beit Hanoun.

In the central Gaza Strip, on 10 August 2013, the ISS officers arrested Hatem Saber Othman (45), from al-Bureij refugee camp. Othman, who was the Deputy Chief of the Preventive Security Service in the central Gaza Strip, was transferred to the ISS office in Deir al-Balah, where he was questioned on offering aid to families of Fatah members who were wounded or killed in the events of June 2007. Othman was handed a notice to refer to the ISS office on 13 August and was then released.

In Khan Yunis, on 10 August, the ISS officers raided a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Khalil Irbei’ (42) in al-Satar al-Gharbi area. Irbei’ is a member of the centre of Khan Yunis’ leadership of Fatah movement. The officers searched the house and seized a laptop, some documents and a cell phone belonging to the aforementioned person. They took him to the ISS office and questioned him. Irbei’ was handed a notice to refer to the ISS office on 13 August and was released at night. Moreover, Jihad Mohammed Abu Mousa (50) and Saleh Abu Hamed, both are Fatah activists in the west and east of Khan Yunis province, were handed summons to go to the ISS office on 12 August. They were arrested, questioned and then released.

In Rafah, on 09 August, the ISS officers arrested 3 Fatah activists after raiding and searching their houses and confiscating some of the contents. The arrested were:

1.     Mahmoud Khalil Hussein (46), former secretary of Fatah movement in Rafah, from Rafah. He suffers from cardiac disease;

2.     Ahmed Hosny Abdul Latif (37), a former member of Fatah movement in Rafah, from Tal al-Sultan. He was released on Saturday, 10 August; and

3.     Khalil Ibrahim Abu Hasnah (41), Director of the Office of the Palestinian Legislative Council’s Member Majed Abu Shammala.

A number of those members have been under detention while the others were released. Some of the released persons said they were detained at the ISS offices each in his area for one day, during which they were interrogated. They were then ordered to return later to the ISS offices in different dates. One of the released persons said he was questioned and tortured by the ISS officers in Rafah after he was arrested from his house in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah. He added that he was questioned three times; an hour and a half each. During interrogation, his head was covered with a sack although he underwent a lens implantation surgery in his eye 6 months ago. He explained that he was mainly questioned about giving amounts of money to families of Fatah members who were wounded or killed during the events of June 2007. During interrogation, he was slapped and pushed by hands and verbally insulted and cursed.

PCHR is concerned over this campaign and:

1.     Stresses that “Personal freedom is a natural right, and shall be guaranteed and protected,” according to the Palestinian Basic Law that also stipulates ” It is unlawful to arrest, search, imprison, restrict the freedom, or prevent the movement of, any person, except by judicial order.” Besides, “Every arrested person shall be informed of the reasons for his arrest or detention;”

2.     Reminds of the decision issued by the Palestinian High Court of Justice on 20 February 1999, which considered political detention illegal and demanded all executive authorities to respect the court’s decision and stop the exercise of illegal political detention;

3.     Emphasizes that detention is regulated under the Palestinian law and is under the authority of law-enforcement officers represented in the Civil Police under the Attorney General’s supervision;

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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