11% of Palestinians Killed by Other Palestinians, Study Shows

Over 11 percent of Palestinians killed during the intifada died at the hands of other Palestinians, according to a report by the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMP), headed by Bassem Eid.

The recently published report, which sheds light on the chaos in the territories, is entitled "Intra'Fada." It states that 2,678 Palestinians were killed by the IDF during the intifada, while 297 Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians.

Some 114 of the victims were clearly executed for allegedly collaborating with Israel, but the report describes a steep rise in other cases of murder as a result of criminal activity or family feuds.

According to Palestinian police statistics published in the report, between January and October 2003, there were 103 murders and 230 attempted murders in the West Bank and Gaza. The most dangerous cities in the territories are Nablus, Hebron and Gaza, where criminal gang activity is rife and the violent settling of accounts between rival clans is frequent. Because of the ongoing conflict with the IDF, these cases are not investigated, either in the Palestinian-controlled areas or those controlled by the IDF.

The report states that between January and October 2003, eight people were killed accidentally during exchanges of fire between rival clans or families. In addition, 165 armed fights between families were reported, as well as 10 rapes, 18 abductions of women and minors, 520 robberies and 1,202 other criminal incidents.

One of the most infamous cases of collaboration with Israel noted by the report is that of Akram al-Zatma, who admitted providing Israel with information as to the whereabouts of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh, killed by an IDF bombing in his home in Gaza. Al-Zatma is described in the report as "among the 'luckier' collaborators," as he is in prison awaiting an authorized execution. In another case, masked men broke into a makeshift prison in Tul Karm, apparently expecting an IDF raid on the premises, and executed eight detainees suspected of collaboration.

Among the murders resulting from family feuds is the case of 69-year-old Leila Tabileh, from Nablus, who was killed by a members of a family that was insulted when she refused to allow one of them to marry her granddaughter.

In a case that sent shock waves throughout Palestinian society, 16-year-old Mayyada Khalil Abu Lamda was raped on her way home from school by four taxi drivers in Gaza. The report states that local sources say it was likely that a rebuffed suitor was among the perpetrators.

The report notes that the violence permeates all levels of Palestinian society, and that even the Palestinian Authority itself is among the victims of the chaos in the streets. Cases of gunfire on PA officials were reported, including shots fired in Gaza in October that wounded the Palestinian assistant state prosecutor, Saad Shaider, as he was leaving his home, and shots fired at the Palestinian health minister, Jawad al-Tibi, two months ago in Jenin.