Sharek, which helped publicize the Turkish-sponsored flotilla to the
Gaza Strip, was said to be an independent Palestinian youth group that
receives funding from abroad. The non-governmental organization has been in
contact with both Palestinian and foreign human rights organizations in wake
of the raids.
On May 31, amid the Israel Navy interception of the flotilla to the Gaza
Strip, Hamas officers were said to have seized 18 computers, video and
digital cameras from Sharek's Gaza City office. Several hours later, Hamas
forces raided Sharek's office in Rafah, confiscated computers, an LCD
projector and then shut the facility, owned by the Rafah Municipality.
"After the first attack, we contacted the Interior Ministry and Youth
and Sports Ministry in Gaza City as well the security personnel responsible
for security of NGOs, all of whom claimed they were not aware of this
action," Sharek said.
This marked the latest Hamas raid of social organizations in the Gaza
Strip. Previous targets included youth and sports clubs linked to the Fatah
movement as well as Christian organizations and NGOs.
"We will continue providing our services despite the recent attacks. And
we call upon the authorities in Gaza to immediately take action and reopen
sister organizations that were ordered to close in Rafah and to ensure that
civil society organizations and their staff are protected in the future,"