Affidavit No. 2027/2004

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected topenal action, I the undersigned, Rula Muhammad Ghazi Suleiman Shtayya, holder of I.D. #989559968, born on 13 January 1972, a housewife and a resident of Salem, NablusGovernorate, would like to declare the following:

On 28 August 2003, I experienced increased labour pains and thought I was going to give birthto my baby. For that reason, my husband Daoud and I left our home located in Salem village atapproximately 5:40 a.m. and took a taxi driven by a village resident, Muhammad Fawzi, to theBeit Fourik checkpoint. An ambulance was waiting for us on the other side of the checkpoint,because my husband called the Palestinian Red Crescent Society before we left home and toldthem that I was in labour. They told him that the ambulance would be waiting for us within tenminutes. My husband called for the ambulance so we would quickly reach the hospital,considering that Nablus was under siege and Israeli soldiers had imposed a curfew.

Upon reaching the checkpoint and getting out of the taxi that drove away, it appeared to us thatthere was not any ambulance. We tried to cross the checkpoint, but the soldiers shouted at usand ordered us not to proceed and told us to stay where we were. My husband started talking tothem in Hebrew about my condition, but they were ambivalent towards what he said and did noteven allow my husband to approach them, as the distance between my husband and the Israelisoldiers was around 40 metres to the east. My pains increased and my shouts became louder,and my husband tried to convince them to let us pass to the hospital or go back home. But noanswer came.

After half an hour of pain and humiliation, I had no option but to go towards one of the concretecubic stones at the checkpoint, and sit behind it to hide myself from the soldiers, and there Igave birth to my baby girl whom I wanted to call Mira. I put my baby inside my clothes to protecther. I was crying from pain, feeling that I may die at any moment. Moreover, blood coming frommy daughter’s mouth, while my husband was unable to do anything but to repeat what I wassaying to make the soldiers understand and feel pity towards me.

After few minutes, one of the soldiers approached towards me to make sure if what my husbandwas saying is true. The soldier was carrying a cup of coffee or tea. As he was close to me hestepped over the placenta, which may not have been intentional, and then left. He allowed myhusband to go and bring a car from the opposite side, about 100 metres from us, to take us tothe hospital. In fact, my husband brought a Ford driven by a man called Jbara, and beforecarrying me to the car my husband cut the placenta with a stone. The car hurried to Rafidiyahospital in Nablus. But when the doctors examined the baby, she was dead.

I would like to say that this was the worst time of my life while I was at the checkpoint, due to thehumiliation and oppression I was subjected to by the Israeli soldiers, who do not have anyminimal signs of humanity, values and morals. They did not offer me any kind of assistance, andonly humiliated and oppressed me, and practiced against us a systematic crime, resulting in theloss of my daughter Mira. Believe me when I say that as long as I am alive, I will not forget whathappened and that I will never forgive that. Imagine how much fatigue and pain the motherendures until her baby sees light, but when she gives birth she forgets all that pain. Whathappened to me cannot be forgotten, and I can’t expect it to be, because of the humiliation,oppression, and killing of my baby by those occupation soldiers who have lost all their humanity.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, on 8 November 2004
Signature: Rula Muhammad Ghazi Suleiman Shtayya

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2027/2004
  • Field researcher: Yousef Qawareiq
  • Affidavit Date: 8 November 2004
  • Name: Rula Muhammad Ghazi Suleiman Shtayya
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