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Report: Palestinian Human Rights Activist Saved by Laptop During Stabbing Attack


"They said I am a collaborator and I should wait for my punishment, saying I must revoke what I said or else."

Palestinian human rights advocate Mahmoud Abu Rahma was stabbed by unknown assailants in Gaza after penning a scathing editorial criticizing Hamas and other terrorist groups’ use of civilians as human shields.

According to the Ma’an News Agency, Abu Rahma, who heads Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, was attacked by masked men who stabbed him multiple times as he was walking home from his brother’s house on Friday night. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports:

On his way home three masked persons carrying sharp tools attacked Abu Rahma and stabbed him in his back, leg and shoulders. Abu Rahma sustained a stab wound in his hand as he tried to defend himself from attacks to his chest. Abu Rahma stated that the attackers had tried to stab him in his chest; however his laptop, which blocked a lot of the attacks, saved him.  The attackers then withdrew while shouting death threats and insults.

Ma’an reports that since he published his original article on December 31st, Abu Rahma has received e-mail and telephone threats and was previously assaulted on January 3rd. He told Ma'an:

"They said I am a collaborator and I should wait for my punishment, saying I must revoke what I said or else."

Abu Rahma’s taking on the terrorist groups was as brave as it was rare. In the editorial, whose English version was published January 5th in Ma’an, Abu Rahma called for legal recourse for Palestinian victims of misfiring and mistakes by “resistance groups” in the West Bank and Gaza.

While Abu Rahma never named Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or other terrorist groups by name, “resistance groups” is common Palestinian parlance for organizations that carry out armed attacks on Israelis.

Though he called the right to “resist” (i.e., fight) Israeli “occupation and injustice” an “inalienable right,” Abu Rahma asked who will protect Palestinian civilians. He detailed numerous examples of terrorist groups’ cynical disregard for the safety of innocent civilians including: live fire training in residential areas, bomb-building in apartment complexes, and rocket-firing near schools (he never used the word “terrorist”). He wrote:

Many citizens also fell victim of the continuous negligence of the resistance groups who show little or no care for people's life and well being, or, worse, fail to take responsibility for shocking acts by their members.

Numerous people were injured from live fire coming from resistance groups training sites; including children and at least one man who lost his eye.

Those are victims of the irresponsible behavior that seems to continue despite the frequent injuries. There is a training site in the town of Beit Lahiya that threatens people every day, including a girl who was injured inside her school when an explosion occurred in this site on Sep. 20 2011.

Explosions also occur frequently in densely-populated areas around Gaza and have their victims; many of whom are children. Shootings occur by mistake inside homes from weapons owned by the resistance. Military training sites function and are located in places very close to neighborhoods and/or schools, from where acts of resistance; including firing rockets, also occur.

Abu Rahma pointed to something the IDF highlights repeatedly and which The Blaze recently reported, that the positioning of terrorist infrastructures in residential neighborhoods draws innocent civilians into battle as "human shields" when the Israeli Air Force responds. It’s a serious issue Palestinian officials and media rarely address. More from Abu Rahma:

The population of these locations are inevitably vulnerable to Israeli attacks. Hundreds of people have been injured and killed and dozens of homes have been damaged from Israeli missile attacks. But little has been done to ease the pain of the loss of life or residence suffered by these people.

On Dec. 9 2011, an Israeli attack on a training site killed a man and his 11-year-old son in al-Nasser neighborhood in Gaza city. His wife and four children were injured; one of the children is at an Israeli hospital suffering critical wounds.

This man, whose house is near the training site, had complained to the resistance members many times. He explained the family’s fear for their life and house. But he was told the family could move out of the area, even if they had no resources to move. He died the way he feared most: tragically.

Again, Abu Rahma stated openly what so few Gazans are brave enough to admit, that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others' rockets aimed at Israeli communities frequently fall short and strike innocent Palestinians:

The state of carelessness from the part of resistance is also causing continued victims of the misfiring of home-made rockets that fall on houses inside Gaza. Many of the victims are children and all of them are civilians who happen to be in their homes.

There are more victims of shootings from, or explosions in, training sites. Many children are killed or maimed when explosive devices left in the streets or farms explode in their hands. And there is the young man who was shot in the legs for daring to publicly criticize a local resistance leader.

While Abu Rahma wrote that his criticism was aimed at governments in the West Bank and Gaza, based on the examples he provided, it appears the main target of his criticism is the Hamas government in Gaza for doing such a poor job of protecting civilians:

It is clear the government is not willing to take the smallest act. It does not open investigations or even hold talks with the resistance groups to ensure that steps are taken to protect the vulnerable people. It is equally clear that the resistance continues to show the same carelessness towards violations committed by the government against the people.

Welcome to the naked truth: the relationship between the government, the resistance, and the people is moving in one way: the people support, nourish and protect their resistance and government. But the resistance and the government are not in the least bit interested to do the same for the people. This is an untenable situation and a dangerous reality. […]

Relationships go two ways. If the people do not enjoy respect and rule of law from the resistance groups and the government -- two political bodies that claim to stand for their rights -- they will all go down together. We will go down.

UN Watch -- a non-profit dedicated to holding the UN accountable -- condemned Abu Rahma’s stabbing:

“The incident raises serious questions about the ability of the Palestinians to create a democratic state where people feel free to question their government without fear of being seriously injured or killed for doing so.”

UN Watch points out Abu Rahma “dared to publish basic facts about Gaza that completely contradict the Hamas narrative, and that of the UN's Goldstone Report, which repeatedly found ‘no evidence’ that Hamas used civilians as human shields.” It points to the irony that despite the UN’s “massive” resources dedicated to Palestinian rights, “the world body somehow managed to turn a blind eye to the massive violations of Palestinian rights described by Abu Rahma.” It is now calling on the UN to condemn Abu Rahma’s stabbing.

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