Ramallah: Hamas police violently attacked a group of women who were peacefully protesting on Tuesday in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza. The women were calling for Palestinian reconciliation and sent a request to protest to Hamas which was ignored. Using sticks and batons, Hamas police attacked the women and dispersed the protest.
Fatah condemned the attack. “The violent attack on our women in Gaza will not pass unpunished,” Ussamah Al Qawasmi, a Fatah official spokesman in the West Bank told Gulf News.
“The Palestinian woman is a key figure and an active ingredient in the Palestinian historical struggle against the Israeli occupation and we will not allow such a humiliating attack against them,” he added.
“The way the women were attacked shows the exact Hamas strategy and ideology which gives no room for women to express their opinions in Palestinian society, a society which grants by through its basic law the freedom of expression and opinion,” he said.
“Hamas insists on the continuation of the Palestinian internal split and strictly refuses all attempts to achieve reconciliation,” he said.
“Hamas’ violent attack against the women gives the entire Palestinian population a bad reputation internationally,” he said.
Meanwhile, ICHR has insisted that Hamas set up an independent investigative committee which should freely investigate the incident and publish its conclusions.
The ICHR has highlighted its serious concerns about women’s freedom in Gazan society in an official statement, saying that Hamas should not have handled the women’s strike in a violent way at all.
“The way Hamas police and security handled the women’s peaceful strike totally violates the international conventions and on top of it the International Declaration for Human Rights which states that every body has the right to participate at peaceful gatherings and meetings,” the statement said.
Al Damir Human Rights Group in Gaza officially announced that a Hamas apology on the incident would not be sufficient and an investigation is a must so that those who have beaten the women activists can be punished as per the law to ensure no future repetition of this incident.