On Tuesday 6 November 2012, the Gaza police forces forcibly dispersed a women peaceful demonstration organized by the General Union of Palestinian Women and other women organizations outside the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in Gaza City.
The demonstration,which comes in the context of a larger campaign called “National Campaign to End Palestinian Internal Split”and launched two months ago,is organized weekly on Tuesdays opposite the PLC and normally ends with a silent set-in outside the PLC.
According to investigations conducted by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, at approximately 12:00 pm on Tuesday 6 November 2012, about 50 persons, mostly women, gathered outside PLC, holing banners calling for ending internal Palestinian split and reunion.
Shortly afterwards, three police cars arrived at the scene, and twenty police men and four women got out of one of the carsto ask the protesters to leave the place.
Verbal dispute soon erupted between the police officers and protestors whowere beaten by cudgels.
Seven protestors were beaten including PLC member Na’ema Ash-Sheikh Ali andIssam Abu Daqqa, a member of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Abu Daqqasustained bruises and was admitted to hospital for treatment.
Police officers also tried to detain eight protestors.
The organizers of the campaign usually send a notification to the Ministry of Interior informing them about their demonstrations, although they do not receive a response.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights asserts that the right to peaceful assembly and to hold public meeting without prior license is guaranteed in accordance with Law No.
The only procedure required by the law when a public meeting is organized is limited to informingin writing – the Governor or the Chief of the Police of the meeting at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
In case the organizers do not receive a response, also in writing, they automatically have the right to organize the meeting in the planned time and place.
Al Mezan condemns the excessive use of force by the police to disperse a peaceful protest as well as the participation of some personsdressed incivilian clothes and usingcudgels to disperse the protest.
Al Mezan calls on the Gaza Government to investigate this incident promptly and to examine the procedures used by police to forcibly disperse theprotest in order to ensure total compliance withthe lawand the human rights standards.