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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gaza human rights advocate stabbed after article critical of Hamas

A few weeks ago, a Gaza human rights advocate wrote an article where he said "It is safe to assume that neither the government nor the resistance is willing to step in to protect people who dare to criticize them."

It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A human rights advocate was stabbed by unknown assailants in Gaza City after receiving threats over his authorship of an article critical of Palestinian resistance movements.

Mahmoud Abu Rahma, international relations director at Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, was attacked by masked men and stabbed multiple times while walking back from his brother's house on Friday night, he told Ma'an on Tuesday.

He received 12 stitches in a Gaza hospital and is recovering from his wounds.

Since publishing an article calling for greater accountability of resistance groups to Palestinian citizens on Dec. 31, Abu Rahma received texts and phone calls threatening him because of his views.

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

Abu Rahma was also assaulted by masked men on Jan. 3 in the building where he lives, but he escaped without injuries.

The article, published on Ma'an and other outlets, called for legal redress for victims of misfiring and other operational mistakes by resistance groups and violations by Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Who will protect citizens from the mighty resistance and the powerful government when one, or both, of them harm them?," he wrote.
His article was critical of Fatah and the "resistance groups" as well, but clearly his focus in Gaza was on Hamas, even though he did not mention it by name once.