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Human rights advocate stabbed in Gaza

Jan. 17, 2012 11:31 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2012 5:34 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- 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.

Al Mezan director Issam Younis said the center had called several parties of the Gaza government to an urgent meeting to find Abu Rahma's attackers.

"Such attacks on human rights activists or other writers on opinion grounds represent grave violations of human rights as well as Palestinian law," Al Mezan said in a statement.
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