Affidavit No. 2067/2004

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected to penal action, I the undersigned, Nidal Mustafa Yousef Saqallah, holder of ID # 96551265, born on 6 May 1981, an labourer and a resident of al-Marah Quarter, Jenin, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On Sunday, 7 November 2004, at 4:30 in the evening, I called my 18-year-old nephew Mahmoud Salah-al-Din. Mahmoud was wanted by the Israeli army because of his activities with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in the Jenin City and camp. I asked him to come to my home that is located near his in al-Marah quarter in Jenin, and bring bread with him to his mother. Actually, after five minutes, he came in a jeep with three other armed young men. These young men were Muhamad Masharqa, Fadi Ighbariyya and Amin Abu-al-Kamel. All of them were wanted by the Israeli army. I asked them to sit but they didn't and left instead. Then while I was at home watching the TV at 5:45 in the evening, I heard sound of heavy firing in the area, but I could not identify which direction the sound of shooting was coming from. I then felt that something had happened to my nephew Mahmoud Salah-al-Din.

I called him to reassure myself and to know where the shooting was taking place. Mahmoud’s mobile rang many times, but he did not answer. I called many times, but still he did not answer. I felt more worried about him while the firing continued, and consequently I went out to see what was going on. On my way, I was told that the Israeli army and the Israeli Special Forces were in 'Abd-al-'Afou Gas Station, located one kilometre away from my home at the south entrance of Jenin on Jenin-Nablus Street. I also found out that the jeep in which my nephew and his friend came to my home was parked where shooting was taking place. I immediately went to the scene in my car. As I reached nearby Jenin Municipality, at approximately 600 metres from Abd-al-'Afou gas station, I saw many Israeli jeeps, including big jeeps known to us as “Aziza,” standing in that area. So I turned to al-Sika Street, which overlooks 'Abd-al-'Afou Gas Station. I drove my car over that street above Nablus-Jenin Street to the west, although it was dangerous because I was driving without lights in order to avoid being seen by the Israeli army.

From there, and from the top of the hill at a distance of 30 metres from 'Abd-al-'Afou Gas Station, I saw a white Volkswagen vehicle in front of the jeep with my nephew Mahmoud Salah-al-Din inside. The front side of the jeep was pointing towards the street because Mahmoud had filled it with petroleum from the station and was about to drive off. I saw also many jeeps in that area, where the electricity was cut off. It was around 6:00 in the evening when all the military cars started to leave towards Jenin, including the white Volkswagen.

When the last jeep left, I immediately went to the gas station, and I was the first to reach it as I was on the nearby hill. It was very shocking when I reached the station. I saw the two doors of the jeep on the driver's side, where Mahmoud was sitting, were opened. As I approached closer, I saw Amin Abu-Kamel lying on his back on the ground near the back right wheel of the jeep. He was dead as a result of being shot in the head and many parts of his body. I turned him on his back and found that his pants were down to his knees, and Muhammad Masharqa was lying beside him with his face on the ground. He was also dead, as he sustained many injuries in the head and other parts of his body. As for Fadi Ighbariyya, he was lying with his back on the ground near the front door of the car on the driver's side, and part of his brain was on the ground. He also was dead.

I continued looking for my nephew Mahmoud, whom I found in front of the jeep, lying on his back. I started examining his body, and found that he was injured in the front side of the head with an exit wound in the back. His brain was on the ground, and in addition he

suffered many injuries in the neck, feet and chest. He was bleeding heavily, and his pants were down to his feet. I started shouting and saying Allah wa Akbar [God is great]. After a very short time, many Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulances, citizens, and journalists reached the place, and took many photos of me while I was yelling and crying as I was carrying Mahmoud Salah-al-Din. The four martyrs were carried to Jenin Government Hospital by the ambulances.

It became evident later that Mahmoud Salah-al-Din and his friends were attacked by an Israeli Special Squad, which reached the place in the white Volkswagen bus. This vehicle blocked the way of Mahmoud Salah-al-Din's jeep. From a distance of less than one metre, intensive fire was opened on these martyrs, as told to me by the eyewitness and gas station worker 'Asem Jarrar, who was detained for several hours and then released. On the next day, we buried Mahmoud Salah-al-Din in the Martyrs’ cemetery in the eastern neighbourhood in Jenin. It is worth noting that no curfew was imposed on Jenin and there was no presence of the Israeli army before the incident. The only thing is that a reconnaissance Israeli plane was seen hovering over Jenin since the morning of that day.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 30 November 2004
Signature: Nidal Mustafa Yousef Saqallah

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2067/2004
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 30 November 2004
  • Name: Nidal Mustafa Yousef Saqallah
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