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One child injured and properties damaged in armed attacks in Gaza, reflecting gap in the rule of law

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On Monday, 1 June 2020, panic prevailed in east Gaza City as two armed men opened fire on multiple commercial stores and targeted a lawyer’s vehicle, leaving a 14-year-old passerby injured, and partially damaging private property.

Al Mezan’s field investigations show that two armed men travelling in a black SUV opened fire on a hardware store at around 14:50 in Al-Zaitoun neighborhood, in the east of Gaza City, injuring a child pedestrian, Anas Talat Saqqer, 14, who suffered a gunshot wound to his left leg; the attack also damaged the storefront. Eyewitnesses told Al Mezan that the gunmen drove off, then proceeded to open fire on another store, belonging to Khaled Murtaja, in Al-Tuffah neighborhood, before driving westward. The assailants’ vehicle was later seen at Al-Jala Street where one of the gunmen opened fire at an unoccupied vehicle parked at a law firm that belongs to attorney Shurahbeel Al-Zaeem.

Police spokesperson, Ayman al-Batniji, issued a press statement confirming that the police apprehended the perpetrators and confiscated their weapons and vehicle. The spokesperson further revealed that the armed assault was the result of a personal dispute, and that the case has been referred to the public prosecution.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the violence and finds it reminiscent of similar past incidents relating to the absence of the rule of law in Gaza. These types of incidents gravely undermine the safety and security of the population. Al Mezan demands that the authorities take serious measures, in particular to urgently limit the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and calls on the relevant authorities to uphold the rule of law. A prompt, thorough and credible investigation must be conducted into the incident and the perpetrators must be held to account through a sound legal process.