Internal violence in the Gaza Strip, meaning violence stemming from Palestinian actors, is an indicator for the state of the rule of law and the prevalence of human rights violations and insecurity. Instability in the Gaza Strip threatens the unity and cohesion of Palestinian society and is thus among the major challenges faced by the Gaza population.
For years, the absence of the rule of law has fluctuated in terms of instigators and severity, with some trends remaining constant and others changing. For example, the instances of vigilantism, whereby people take the law into their own hands, vary in frequency from this reporting period compared to the same period in 2017. Certain incidents, including violations by law enforcement agents and armed persons, have increased in frequency during the period covered in this report. Shootings for different reasons, e.g. in family and personal feuds, stand out as a consistent indicator of instability. Internal explosions, i.e. in civil settings and on military training sites, are also reported here, with a focus on incidents where children were injured.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is issuing this report in order to publish its documentation and statistics on internal violence, as an indicator for the absence of the rule of law. Al Mezan hopes that by revealing the serious consequences of the breakdown of security and the rule of law in Gaza, policy- and decision-makers will be prompted to take steps to combat internal violence.