Palestinian warfare leads to stabbing

A Palestinian human-rights activist was stabbed on Friday in Gaza by unknown assailants, widely assumed to be Hamas. Mahmoud Abu Rahma, international relations director at Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights was attacked for the second time in two weeks after receiving death threats, following an article he wrote in the Palestinian media, accusing both the Fatah and Hamas governments in the West Bank and Gaza of political violence and repression.

In an article entitled The Gap Between Resistance and Governance, Mr Abu Rahma wrote that, in his opinion, Palestinian resistance against Israel was necessary but that "facts on the ground indicate clear examples where Palestinian citizens in Gaza and the West Bank find themselves clashing with the government and/or resistance."

He went on to mention cases in which Palestinians were injured or killed due to the use of civilian areas as training grounds and bases for the Palestinian organisations, and because of careless shooting and explosions.

Last month, a Palestinian asked one of the armed groups, most probably Islamic Jihad, not to use the area next to his house for training as he feared that an Israeli attack on it would harm his family. According to Mr Abu Rahma, the man was killed and his wife and four children injured when the training site was attacked by Israel.

In other cases, he wrote, casualties were caused by missiles fired by Palestinians against Israeli targets that due to "carelessness" fell on civilians within the Gaza Strip. He blamed the organisations and the Palestinian governments for not acting to prevent these incidents or compensate the victims and their families.

"The naked truth" he wrote, "is that, while the people support, nourish and protect their resistance and government, the resistance and the government are not in the least bit interested in doing the same for the people."

After the article appeared, Mr Abu Rahma received death threats and was attacked near his home by masked assailants two weeks ago. He was attacked again last Friday night in Gaza City, and stabbed several times by two men. He was moderately wounded. The Al Mezan Centre called upon the Hamas government to investigate, but so far there has been no response.

Last updated: 12:34pm, January 19 2012