Affidavit No. 2273/2005

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, Bilal ’Adel Ahmad Jadour, Tel # 0545 867161, holder of I.D. # 921499815, born on 15 February 1984, unemployed and a resident of Al-Wata – Aida Camp, Bethlehem Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a resident of the Al-Wata area located 100 metres from ‘Ayda Camp in the Bethlehem governorate. Al-Wata is considered as being within the Jerusalem borders, but I hold a West Bank Identity card and so does my family. There are 13 members of my family, including 3 children. Another three families live in our vicinity, numbering approximately 40-50 persons; two of these families hold the West Bank identity cards, and the third one holds Jerusalem identity cards. Since beginning the construction of the ‘Separation Wall’ in 2002, our sufferings started with the Israeli army, which has tried to put pressure on us to abandon our area under the pretext that it is a Jerusalemite area.

The construction of the Wall - it is a huge wall made up of concrete, nine metres in height and extending from Barrier 300 north of Bethlehem, until Beit Jala. Only a small opening was left for us to pass through to ‘Ayda Camp and Beit Jala, and this opening will be closed when the construction of the Wall is completed. The construction of the Wall resulted in closing the street that connects Al-Wata with ‘Ayda camp in such a manner that we have to walk one kilometre through rough land to reach ‘Ayda camp. In the past, the way to Bethlehem took us only 10 minutes and now it takes 30 minutes. Moreover, the military patrols on the roads in this area, which always harass us, make many of us stay at home to avoid them.

The only employed person in my family is my father (51 years); while three of my brothers, my uncles, and I are unemployed. Moreover, our social relations with our relatives have been disrupted because none of our relatives who live in ‘Ayda camp and Bethlehem dare to visit us. On the other hand, if we visited them, we have to return back before sunset because the Al-Wata area is located behind the Wall and is considered a dangerous military area. These difficult circumstances have obliged 5 members of our family to leave our home in Al-Wata (we have two houses and a piece of land of approximately 7 dunums). These 5 persons left Al-Wata to live in ‘Ayda camp. My sisters (18 and 14 years old) are school students, and it became difficult for them to reach their school due to the difficultly of movement; my cousins (twins, 12 years old) [children of uncle Fou’ad]; and my nephew ‘Anoud (4 years) who attends the kindergarten. All these five persons are now obliged to live with our relatives in ‘Ayda camp in order to be able to go daily to their schools in the camp.

We are also suffering from many other things, such as the lack of services due to the fact that no car is allowed to reach the Al-Wata area after the construction of the Wall. For example, bringing a gas jar to our home causes a lot of troubles for us. We find ourselves obliged to carry it on our shoulders through the rough and mountainous land, and the same applies to bringing home our foodstuffs or other requirements.

As for the medical services, we face a big problem. Lately, my grandmother (Fatima ‘Issa Hasan Jadour, 71 years) who lived with us in our home in Al-Wata, died. She was in good health, but on 3 April 2005 (her birthday) she was at home and at 11 a.m. she started to have pain in her chest, because she had problems with her heart and arteries. My uncle Fou’ad Jadour (43 years), my brother Mahmoud (29 years), and I carried her across the mountains to reach ‘Ayda camp (a distance of one kilometre) until we reached the opening through which we can pass.

We did not call the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance, or the Israeli ambulance, because we had bad experiences with them in the past when we had health problems. We used to call them and they would say that they need security coordination, which requires several hours. This also happened with my uncle Fou’ad in 2004 when he had a heart attack while he was at home. When we called the Red Crescent ambulance, we were told to wait until they coordinated with the Israeli side, which usually takes hours, and so, we had to carry him through the rough road on the mountain until we reached ‘Ayda camp.

For that reason, and to save time, we carried our grandmother until we reached the opening in the Wall through which we can pass, and there we felt that she died. It was midday, which means that our journey took us an hour. Had the ambulance been able to reach our home, we might have saved my grandmother’s life. We carried her from ‘Ayda camp to Al-Hussein Governmental Hospital. The distance from our home, or from ‘Ayda camp, is approximately five kilometres and takes only five minutes, whereas it took us an hour and a quarter to reach it from Al-Wata. The doctor said that she was dead when we reached the hospital (clinical death). We are still living in our home despite what happened and despite that the future waiting for us is unknown; we do not have permits to pass from Jerusalem to Bethlehem; we do not know if a gate will be allocated for us to pass through the Wall; or if we will be obliged to abandon our homes (forced to evacuate).

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 7 April 2005
Signature: Bilal Jadour

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Ziad Hmeidan
  • Field researcher: Ziad Hmeidan
  • Affidavit Date: 7 April 2005
  • Name: Bilal Jadour
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