The illegal spread of small arms and light weapons (SALW) accelerated the deterioration of security situation in the Gaza Strip.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the escalation of internal violence and the increasing use of SALW in clashes between Palestinian Security apparatuses and armed groups and individuals that have recently left seven Palestinians injured.
These events seriously jeopardize the personal and societal safety of Palestinians and must stop.
Recent episodes responsible for the present state of insecurity include: armed clashes between members of the Palestinian security and Palestinian civilians, kidnapping of foreigners, journalists and Palestinians, assassinations including the murders of doctors, directors of hospitals and local politicians, and 'honour murder of women'.
Attacks involving the use of SALW have occurred against the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Gaza Central Prison, The Palestinian Security Headquarters (Assaria), Governates of the Gaza Strip, the electricity company and the Association of Culture and Free Thought.
Al Mezan's Fieldwork Unit has documented 515 victims of these armed clashes during the period between January 1, 2003 and June 11, 2005.
Since the beginning of this year, 15 Palestinians were killed and approximately 165 were injured due to the illegal use of SALW.
Gravely concerned about the deterioration of the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Al Mezan calls upon the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to assume its responsibilities by upholding the law and working to prevent these systematic violations of Palestinians human rights.
The Center demands that the PNA stop providing protection to the members of security apparatuses and hold them legally accountable for improperly discharging their weapons.
Al Mezan also calls upon Palestinian political factions to respect the law by prohibiting the use of weapons during marches and internal conflicts while also stopping the practice of providing protection to those who have committed unlawful acts.
Al Mezan calls upon all parties of the Palestinian National Authority to put an end to the spread, use and trade of SALW by confiscating unlicensed weapons and punishing members of security bodies who are found carrying weapons after work.
Al Mezan emphasizes the need to hold perpetrators of justice accountable for their illegal acts.