Severe human rights violations in inter-Palestinian clashes

In the period around 2007, the Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas waged a violent struggle, primarily in the Gaza Strip. The fighting peaked in June 2007, when Hamas seized control of the Strip. In 2008, the violence abated but did not cease. Throughout the struggle, human rights violations committed by Palestinians against Palestinians increased, both in number and severity.

In 2007, at least 353 Palestinians were killed, 349 of them in the Strip, and thousands were injured, in the fighting between the factions. B'Tselem's figures indicate that at least 86 of the dead, 23 of them children, were passersby and were killed during street fighting or from gunfire during demonstrations. Some 300 of the dead were killed in the first half of the year, the vast majority of them in the Gaza Strip. 160 persons were killed in June alone. The casualties occurred during violent clashes between members of the Palestinian Authority's security apparatus, most of whom belong to Fatah and are loyal to Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas, and Hamas armed militias, headed by the Hamas Executive Force, which was subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior, and the 'Iz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

In 2008, 18 Palestinians were killed in the inter-Palestinian fighting, all of them in the Gaza Strip. 15 of the dead were killed in a single incident, in August, in an exchange of gunfire between police who had come to arrest members of the Hiles family.

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