Affidavit No. 2107/2004

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall besubjected to penal action, I the undersigned, Suheil Salim 'Abd-al-Fattah Salman, holder ofID # 996485678, born on 3 May 1962, the head of the Wall Resistance Committee and aresident of the South Quarter, Toulkarem Governorate, would like to declare the following:

In April 2002, the Israeli army started to build the Separation Wall in the Toulkarem areabefore its approval by the Israeli Knesset, which took place on 12 June 2002. Theconstruction started in Far'on village, located south of Toulkarem, in April 2002, when theWest Bank was subjected to a broad Israeli military campaign. After 17 days of curfew onFar'on village, after the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the village, citizens were shockedby the Israeli military orders of the confiscation of the lands located west and south thevillage. These lands are located only about one kilometre from the green line that separatesthe West Bank from the area occupied in 1948.

This was followed in August of the same year with the issuing of a number of Israeli militaryorders, which confiscated hundreds of dunums of land from the villages of al-Jaroushiyya,Deir al-Ghsoun, 'Attil, Qufin, Nazlet 'Isa, Zeita, and Baqa al-Sharqiyya, in addition to severalvillages located north of Toulkarem. Land is confiscated for the benefit of the construction ofthe Separation Wall and for security reasons, according to the Israelis. Confiscation andconstruction continued until the official completion of the Wall in August 2003. This Wallstretched in Toulkarem from the 'Qaba village, north Toulkarem, to Kufr Jammal village,south of Toulkarem, at a length of 27 kilometres, and different depths, which sometimesreach seven kilometres. The construction of the Wall resulted in the confiscation of 40,000dunums of land, the destruction 65,000 fruit trees (mostly olive trees), and the destruction of 20 kilometres of water pipelines. This is in addition to the destruction of all the agriculturalroads that connect the Palestinian localities to the lands located behind the Separation Wall.The construction of the Wall resulted also in the destruction of the agricultural sector in theToulkarem area, especially by isolating the lands located behind it. This is due to the greatpains which citizens undergo in order to reach their lands, as they have to pass through irongates built in the Wall for this purpose, but have not been opened for a long time. In Far'onvillage, the gate has never been opened. Moreover, many farmers were denied permits,which the Israeli authorities give to farmers so they may access through the gates their landconfiscated for supposed security reasons.

The Israeli Knesset officially announced the completion of the Wall in the Toulkarem area on1 August 2003. Officially, it was completed, but on the ground it was not because after thatdate tens of Israeli military orders were issued for the confiscation land located east of theWall, and orders for demolishing houses have been issued. For example, two houses weredemolished in Far'on village, on the pretext that these houses did not have building licenses.But the reality shows that these two houses were demolished because they are locatednearby the Wall. Another ten houses in the same village are threatened to be demolished forthe same reasons and pretexts. The cases of these houses have been taken to the IsraeliHigh Court.

Also a number of similar yet more dangerous military orders were recently issued, statingthat construction is prohibited in the vicinity of the Wall from the north of the West Bank to itssouth, and at 500 metres deep to the east. These orders were issued a month and a halfago during the sickness of the late President Yaser 'Arafat. Initially, they were issued inToulkarem, Jenin and Qalqiliya. These orders prohibit any building using cement or iron, andalso prevent erecting a fence of mesh or wood, or anything that may change the contour of the land.

This area was called the blue area on the Israeli maps attached to the orders that preventbuilding. The area of these lands will form eight percent of the West Bank area once the Wallis completed. Recently, military orders have been issued in the Shofa village, southeastToulkarem, stating the confiscation of 305 dunums of the eastern village land without givingreason for its confiscation. Now the bulldozing and leveling of the confiscated land is takingplace, and according to my estimates, a camp for the Israeli army will be built on this landand maybe a bypass road. A week ago, the Israeli army started to destroy lands locatednorth of the Jbara barricade (al-Kafriyat), located south of Toulkarem, where trees wereuprooted and the land is being leveled for the construction of a tunnel that connectsToulkarem and al-Kafriyat area (south Toulkarem villages) with Qalqiliya. This tunnel will beunderground in order to prevent any friction between the Palestinians and the Israeli settlers.

There are also talks about the construction of 20 tunnels in the West Bank for the samereason. This is new, and has long–term objectives, the most important of which is that theIsraelis are not going to evacuate the settlements in the West Bank. Therefore, I request youto observe and monitor this issue and its results during the coming few months. Moreover,two weeks ago, and specifically at the beginning of December, the Israeli army built a newiron gate on the bypass road linking Toulkarem and the south villages. It also links theterritories occupied in 1948 with the West Bank and the settlements in the north West Bankand the territories occupied in 1948. This is new evidence of the Israeli government policy ofexpansion, settlement, and partitioning the West Bank into separated cantons.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, on 26 December 2004.
Signature: Suheil Salim 'Abd-al-Fattah Salman

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2107/2004
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 26 December 2004
  • Name: Suheil Salim 'Abd-al-Fattah Salman
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