Home > Opinion-Maker > Public Denounce To Mr Hammad, the Minister of Interior in Gaza-I’m Palestinian, Am I a Criminal?

Public Denounce To Mr Hammad, the Minister of Interior in Gaza-I’m Palestinian, Am I a Criminal?


Posted on March 20, 2011 by Marivel Guzman in collaboration with Omar Karem

I m Omar Karem, I m Palestinian, I Live in Gaza. I m amateur photographer, writer and blogger, I was assaulted, beat and robed.

On March 18, 2011 co-owner of this Web Blog, Omar Karem was violently assaulted on the street in downtown Gaza, he was forced to accompanied some security men for ‘questioning!,’ but he was not taken to the police department office, but, to some rooms around the  “Unknown Soldier Square, ” before than the incident occurred, he witnessed some other security officers approaching two foreign women and and Karem saw how the officers took the women’s cameras.

Karem said  than he saw how two other women were being arrested.

Once in those ‘rooms’ the security officers took Karem’s suitcase and openned his laptop and starting looking at his private files.

Karem said he was kicked  when asked, “Why are you hitting me, go hit the Israeli” they slammed his head on the wall and one of the officers told him, “You should thanks your God, we don’t brake your legs”.

They kept asking him his name, and one of them told him, “I know you, you work for Fatah”, other officers told him that he works for an American and Israeli Agenda. Every time he tried to talk his head was slammed on the wall. He saw another 6 people, in there, for two other women they took their cell phones, and told them to come back tomorrow for questioning.

All this is happen to regular citizens that take pictures for the marches going on in Gaza, hours later another event took place in the offices of Reuter.


GAZA, March 19 (Reuters) – Several armed men entered Reuters’ office in Gaza on Saturday, threatened employees with guns and took away a video camera, apparently after they spotted a reporter filming a demonstration from the building. The men struck one Reuters journalist on the arm with a metal bar and threatened to throw another out of the window of the high-rise block. The group, which numbered about 10 men, smashed a television set and other equipment before leaving.

The same group, several of whom were carrying pistols, also forcibly entered the nearby offices of U.S. broadcaster CNN and the Japanese station NHK. They seized videotape at NHK.

The men told Reuters journalists that they came from the internal security services of Hamas, the Islamist group which governs the Palestinian enclave, but they showed no documents.

Reuters

The arrests and violence on citizens are going around the clock, more cameras are confiscated, more students beat and interrogated and the government still deny that the actions came from their security forces.

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“Initial information shows these men were not from the government. We have arrested some of them and we are going to interrogate them and see who they were acting for,” Interior Minister Fathi Hammad told reporters.

He added that he had told all security services to treat journalists with respect and prevent attacks on them.

An excerpt from the office of theInterior Minister Office

 

The protection of the citizens of Gaza is in the hands of the security of the government of Gaza, that I think were hired to protect us from violence coming from Israel or from anyone else. If the security forces are going to attack innocent people in Gaza, then we don’t need them, we have enough with Israel continuous ttacks and violence

Omar Karem

 

Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said: “We are extremely concerned at this unwarranted assault on our staff and urge the authorities to ensure that journalists can work freely in Gaza.” The Reuters staff attacked were Palestinian. The violence flared shortly after uniformed Hamas security forces broke up a small rally which had been called to call for Palestinian unity and reconciliation between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’s rival Fatah group.

Reuters had filmed a journalist from the Associated Press being detained at the protest. The man was later released, AP said.

 

According to some witness that were detained and released and which cameras and phones were confiscated, where told that they need a permission to take pictures. The strange is that dozens of journalists, photographers and other personal of News agencies in Gaza, hold a Press Permit and their cameras were confiscated and they were arrested also.

It was the second time in a week that media organizations have came under attack in Gaza. Witnesses said security forces beat photographers and cameramen on Tuesday as they tried to film another Palestinian unity rally in the city.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories, condemned the March 15 crackdown: “This is the latest in a string of chilling attacks on reporters in Gaza,” it said in a statement.

Hamas denied accusations that it was responsible for the violence, blaming the assault on “different youth groups”.

There are conflicts in the statements that were released by the information office of the Minister of Interior and what their own employees are saying in the blogs, and in facebook, and what it is happening in the streets. The attacks on journalist and in citizens with cameras has been more frequent since the Youth Of Gaza Broke the Silence in December 27, 2010, where some of their member were arrested, tortured and released.

No one doubt that there are groups in Gaza that tried to demoralize the movement of Unity, and also groups that want to defame Hamas, but also there is no doubt that they gone far in their attempts to “Silence the Cameras”, but they are forgetting something in this technological age that we live now, even Gaza with their 4 year old siege count with thousands of mobil phones equipped with cameras and many other recording devices, so in their attempt to keep control, in the last 3 months all they have done is to loose popularity in Gaza.

Two days ago on March 18 to be exact I tried all day to call my friend Omar Karem in Gaza, and someone keep answering the phone, in Arabic and all they will say, No Omar in here. After maybe the 10 try a voice asked; “Who are you”, so me having committed no crime and not knowing what whats going on with my friend, I respond I m Marivel. and he asked me, where you calling from, so I told him, I m calling from the United States and he hung up.
So by now, I m all curious, I called again and different person answer this time, Alo!..I said..Wek Omar? I m learning few sentences in Arab/english the new virtual language in the wires. He told me Omar is not here and he hung up.

So I called again and the same voice ask me, why you call Omar?..so by this time I m mad, I keep talking and checking the number I dialed and it is Omar’s number, I told him ..is not your business, please give me Omar. Who ever has Omar phone was in the street because I can hear cars honking in a busy street. He asked me if I speak arabic and told him no..

I asked him if he just got this number, because that was Omar number, for a moment I thought that Omar changed his number, this men told me, NO, there is no Omar in here..and he hung up..They answer many more times, but arabic speakers, finally after the 30 or 40 times re dials they turn the phone off, and is been off since then.

Omar Karem wants to denounce the actions of some security officers from the Minister of Interior that arrested him, beat him, threat him and took his personal belonging. Apparently without any authorization from the Minister of Interior. Mr. Karem, he is scare and do not want to present himself in the offices of the police to denounce the crime, for obvious reason. He is making a public denounce and demand the Minister of Interior to persecute these rogue officers and an apology and the return of his personal computer, mobil phone, passport and other important items that were in his suit case.

If the minister of interior Mr Fathi Hammad is taking responsibility for “other groups” that vandalize the offices of Reuter, CNN and the Japanese Outlet News NHK. The office of Mr Hammad should take responsibility for their security officers that have been harassing the citizens of Gaza and confiscating their cameras and phones.

Omar Karem is mad and frighten, he scare to walk the streets of Gaza. I would if I was him. I hope that when I visit Gaza, Palestine I don’t need to make any public complaints. I want to enjoy Gaza and take pictures, and talk to her people, without being harassed by “no one”.

I wonder if it is a crime to take pictures in Gaza? or Do you need a special permit to take pictures and upload them to the different social networks in the world? Also it is a crime to like Hamas, or to like Fatah, or AFLP? What ever the answer I hope Mr. Hammad give a respond to the thousands of Gaza Citizens that more and more are showing their like and dislikes in the streets of Gaza, demonstrating with permits and without permits. All they are asking is Palestine as One Nation.
and I know this story is not the only in Gaza and West Bank.

Categories: Opinion-Maker
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  1. February 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

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