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Date posted: September 16, 2008
By MIFTAH

According to media reports, members of the deposed Hamas government police force stormed the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, ostensibly searching for wanted men from the Dughmush family. According to the de facto government, the men are accused of involvement in the death of a policeman and have been fugitives from the law ever since. In the armed clashes that ensued between the Dughmush family and police forces, 11 people were killed including a policeman and a child. The three wanted men were killed after they refused to turn themselves in, according to the police.

MIFTAH finds the incident extremely disturbing in light of the already tense inter-Palestinian relations in the Strip. Under no circumstances should Palestinians turn their arms against one another, particularly when one party is the so-called authority, which is charged with the protection of its citizens. As such, MIFTAH particularly criticizes the fashion in which the police force in Gaza handled the attempted arrest of the wanted men, who regardless of their crimes, deserve a fair trial before a court of law.

MIFTAH also condemns the use of firearms from the Dughmush family against the police force. The use of unauthorized weapons more than often leads to unnecessary deaths, such as in the case of the Sabra neighborhood today.

Due to the dangerous repercussions of yet another surge of inter-Palestinian clashes, MIFTAH calls on all armed parties in Gaza to immediately ban armed clashes among each other. While it is imperative that law and order be enforced in the Gaza Strip, it is also crucial that that lives of ordinary citizens are not endangered in the course of achieving this goal.

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