اجعلنا صفحة البداية RSS خدمة Add to favorite Facebook Twitter

Advanced

Shia group 'attacked by police' in Gaza
Published Tuesday 17/01/2012 (updated) 18/01/2012 19:42
Font- Font+
Police take part in a training session in Gaza City.
(MaanImages/Wissam Nassar, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A group of Shiite worshipers say masked police violently raided a religious service in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, prompting furious denials by the Hamas-dominated government in the territory.

Around 20 followers of the Shia branch of Islam were performing a ceremony for Ashura, the commemoration of the death of Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein, when masked police stormed the private home in Beit Lahiya, they told Palestinian human rights groups.

Security officers beat the worshipers with clubs, and took them for interrogation at a police station where they were further assaulted, they told the Gaza-headquartered Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Several sustained fractures and bruises from the beating and were taken to Balsam and Kamal Odwan hospitals, PCHR said.

The Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights said that upon leaving hospital, they were handed notifications to go to the interior security headquarters in northern Gaza.

A Shiite man, who asked to be referred to as M. M., told Ma'an on Sunday "to be assaulted by Hamas security is outrageous because we are not against the law, we respect it."

"These rites concern freedom of religion ... we are Muslims like all the people in Gaza."

The Shia will continue exercising their religious rites, which they are proud of, he said.

Another Shiite man, using the name Abu Zeinab, said security forces dispersed the religious ceremony after alleging it did not have the proper license, but denied the group were assaulted.

Hamas officials initially refused to comment on the matter, and said Sunday they considered the account to be a fabrication by Ma'an.

On Monday, the Gaza interior ministry published a press statement denying the account relayed by human rights groups.

"Police tracked an illegal group with corrupted views that were planning to commit crimes," the ministry said in its version of the Saturday night raid.

The ministry also said Palestine is a Sunni country where Shiism does not exist.

"We respect all the doctrines around the world, especially the Shiite school, and we don’t intervene in what they believe and we don’t want them to intervene in our beliefs as well," the statement said.

While vowing to study allegations of human rights abuse, the interior ministry warned human rights groups to consult official sources and not believe just any account of events.

The ministry also called on the media to work for positive national goals.

PCHR urged the Gaza government to open an investigation into "the use of excessive force by the security officers ... and to bring the perpetrators to justice."

The raid broke Palestinian laws on freedom of belief and expression, and a prohibition on raiding private homes without a judicial order, Al Mezan said.

Meanwhile, M. M. told Ma'an that Shiites would "complain about Hamas to Iran, which supports the movement in Gaza."

Abu Zeinab complained that Iran did not offer sufficient support for Shiites in Gaza. While the Shia are harassed by Hamas, they faced worse suppression under Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority rule prior to the 2007 split between the governments, he added.

Hamas premier in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh is due to visit Iran in early February. The Sunni group is believed to receive considerable support from the Shia power, but the uprising in Syria, Iran's regional ally, has strained their historic ties.
Print
1 ) BenWV / USA
17/01/2012 19:49
Maan, are you fabricating stories again? But why against good peace-loving Muslims? Hamas would never use violence against its own people.

2 ) Diaspora Palestinian / USA
17/01/2012 20:42
Despite the fact that intolerance is not accepted, I am glad to learn that we have Shiite Muslims in Palestine. I know that there are Druze in high Galilee, Samaritans in Nablus and Wahhabis in Haifa, but never knew that there are Shiite in Palestine. True nationalism is by harmonious pluralism. No minorities in one nation, but all are full citizens.

3 ) Business / Israel
17/01/2012 21:14
There is only one place where minorities have rights in the middle east: Israel. Of course@2 you have a good imagination which is fitting for imaginary state of palestine. Enjoy the USA. We like it here.

4 ) matt / usa
17/01/2012 21:20
I find it funny that the reason why there was no violence agaisnt this group is because this group doesnt exist in gaza. As if to say they arent allowed to live here

5 ) What the...? / Palestine
18/01/2012 14:54
".. we are Muslims like all the peole in Gaza". What happened to the Christians living in Gaza? Don't tell me.. "..there are no Christians living in Gaza".

6 ) EE / UK
18/01/2012 15:51
It opens the whole new array of possible reconciliations - between sunni and shia for examples. Palestinians need to form a committee now, assign a secretary general, set a meetings schedule and ask US, EU and UN for additional money.

7 ) @ Business / Israel # 3 / US
18/01/2012 20:47
The only one place where minorities have no rights in the Middle East is the state that wants to be recognized as Jewish state, the state that spills the blood of the flasha Ethiopian Jews, the state that considers native indigenous Christians and Muslims aliens and Palestine is land with no people. Remember that Zionism is racist ideology and stop bragging about fake democracy.

8 ) Business / Israel
19/01/2012 04:33
@8: you sir seem upset about something. I suggest you calm down, it is unhealthy to get so worked up. We really enjoy it here and so do the Ethiopian Jews as they are desperate to come here. And so are muslims from africa, palestinians from the west bank, etc,. Things are really good so i guess that is why. Our unemployment is the lowest ever. We love our Jewish state so filled with more and more Jews. Zionism is wonderful - a complete sucess unlike our loser collapsing neighbors.

9 ) mahmoud ahmadinnerjacket / egypt
19/01/2012 10:16
since when have we had shia inPalestine..

10 ) R.J / jerusalem
22/07/2012 04:20
Although i believe we are all the same but we do live in a world of labels and i'm a Shia living in Jerusalem city of Palestine .... We do exist in this country :)
Name Country
Comment
Characters
Note: Comments will be reviewed for appropriate content. Click here for more details.

Share/Bookmark

PA security forces vow to continue crackdown on outlaws
Hamas official: National unity govt mandate expires Dec. 2
Clashes as Israeli soldiers raid attack suspects' homes

Close Next Previous
All Rights Reserved © Ma'an News Agency 2005 - 2014