GAZA CITY: A Palestinian rights activist in Gaza who criticized the Palestinian government and "resistance" in an article has been stabbed after receiving death threats, his NGO said on Tuesday.
Mahmud Abu Rahma, international relations director at the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, was stabbed multiple times by several masked attackers on Friday evening, the Gaza-based centre said in a statement released on Tuesday.
He was stabbed in the back, leg and shoulders, but used his laptop to prevent the attackers from stabbing him in the chest, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said in a separate statement on the incident.
He sustained injuries to his thigh and left hand that required stitches, PCHR said.
Al Mezan said the attack was the second time Abu Rahma had been targeted since the publication of an article he authored on January 2.
"Mr. Abu Rahma has received many threats on his mobile and email, including messages threatening his safety and life," the centre said, adding that the threats made reference to an article by Abu Rahma entitled "The Gap between Resistance and Governance."
The article, published in Arabic on several websites and later translated into English, warned that both the Palestinian "resistance" groups and government were failing ordinary citizens.
"Who will protect citizens from the mighty resistance and the powerful government when one, or both, of them harm them?," he wrote in an English-language version of the article published on January 5 by Palestinian news agency Maan.
Abu Rahma accused the Palestinian government of interrogating and detaining dozens of people "not for unlawful acts they committed, but mostly for who they are and what they think, or for their mere political affiliation."
And he said Palestinian insurgents endangered civilians by operating in crowded areas, creating the risk that their weapons would accidentally injure or kill locals, and raising the likelihood that Israeli response attacks would affect civilians.
Al Mezan said Abu Rahma was targeted for the first time the day after the article was published in Arabic, in an assault in which several masked men beat him outside his home.
The group said it had filed complaints with the authorities, and urged Gaza’s Hamas government to ensure Abu Rahma’s safety, calling the attacks "grave violations of human rights as well as Palestinian law."
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights also condemned the attack and called on the government "to investigate… and bring the perpetrators to justice."