One Child Killed in Family Feud in Deir Al Balah

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The latest death, of child Omar Abu Shmas, within a family feud in Gaza alarms Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and forms part of a trend of violence that occurs within the outbreak of family feuds in the Gaza Strip. The competent authorities must take the steps necessary to uphold the rule of law and protect Gaza’s residents.

On Wednesday, 3 January 2018, Omar Abu Shmas, 14, was killed in Deir Al Balah in the Middle Gaza district. Al Mezan’s monitoring and documentation shows that at around 12pm, a dispute broke out between two families living next to each other in Al Berka neighborhood in Deir Al Balah city. Firearms and blades were used, and Omar was hit with a bullet that pierced through his abdomen to his back. He was rushed to Shuhada Al Aqsa Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead at 12:30 pm. The police launched an investigation into his death.

Residents must resort to legal methods in such situations, and the competent authorities must in turn enforce the law in Gaza and institute mechanisms that deliver accountability.

Al Mezan calls on relevant authorities to:

Take all necessary legal and procedural actions to prevent the spread and abuse of weapons and to limit its ownership to law enforcement agencies;

Enforce legal punishments on all those who abuse or use it for illegal purposes; and

Ensure that the principles of the rule of law and public safety are respected and protected at all times.