Two armed groups broke into the Central Elections Commission in northern Gaza and Deir Al Balah (middle district) on December 12th, ordering employees to leave their offices.
At approximately 10.
15am, according to Al Mezan’s fieldworkers, two known armed groups broke into the CEC office in Deir Al Balah and forced the employees to discontinue their work.
In a similar incident at approximately 11.
45am, another known armed group broke into the CEC office in the northern Gaza district and demanded that employees leave.
Both offices were threatened if they didn’t comply, and thus were closed.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the frequent offensives against the CEC in the Gaza districts, and stresses that these events constitute a serious and dangerous threat for the CEC in their work to organize the PLC elections, particularly since these transgressions occur at a crucial time with regards to the electoral process.
Further, such frequent offensives are maintaining the state of insecurity and weakening the rule of law in the OPT.
Therefore, Al Mezan calls upon the PNA to immediately open investigations into such actions, to bring the perpetrators to justice, to present a security plan for facing these challenges, and to provide protection for CEC offices and employees.
Moreover, Al Mezan asserts that such offensives constitute an early warning to the PNA, which should take all necessary procedures to provide protection for the electoral process, even within the worst conditions.
Al Mezan emphasizes that the organization of the elections is of great importance towards ending the crisis within the Palestinian political regime, building democratic foundations for peaceful dealings, and reinforcing public electoral participation.