Affidavit No. 2415/2005

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, Tawfiq Naji Ahmad Daraghma, holder of I.D. # 935972216, born 12 May 1947, a farmer and resident of Toubas, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a citizen from Toubas, located 20 km southeast of Jenin. I am a farmer and I own 27 dunums of agricultural land located east of Toubas, near Tayasir village, at a distance of 500 metres from the Tayasir Israeli military checkpoint, opposite an Israeli military camp. Since 1975, I have been cultivating and planting my land, and since then I have been subjected to continuous harassment by the Israeli army located in that camp. Several times I have been beaten by Israeli soldiers on the pretext that my land is a training yard for the Israeli soldiers.

On 15 February 1995, 200 olive trees were uprooted from my land. Earlier, in 1985, the Israeli army bulldozed six dunums of my land, and in 1988 the Israeli army bulldozed it again after I had reclaimed it. In 1992, the Israeli army completely burned a seven-dunum plot planted with 65 olive and almond trees. In the same year, the Israeli soldiers bulldozed nine dunums of my land. Despite all this, I always worked on the reclamation of my land without any despair. However, the biggest disaster to be inflicted on me was when the Israeli army deprived me of access to my land as I used to do, and I had to walk on foot for several hours through mountainous roads in order to reach my land. This happened after the Israeli army installed Tayasir checkpoint, which prevented me from reaching my land through the route I used to take.

As a result, the arable land gradually shrank. In 2003, I could only cultivate five dunums out of 27 dunums. In 2004, due to the tightened restrictions imposed by the Israeli army around Tayasir military camp and in the district of Toubas, I was completely unable to cultivate and plant on my land. On Sunday, 11 January 2004, after reaching my land through mountainous roads by an agricultural truck, an Israeli jeep (Hummer) followed me and the soldiers took me to Tayasir military camp. I was accompanied by my 14-year-old son Walid and my 54-year-old sister Wafiqa.

We were detained inside the camp for four hours, during which the soldiers threatened that they would shoot and kill us if we returned to the land. On that day, we returned to Toubas when it was dark and through mountainous roads because the Israeli soldiers refused to allow us to cross the checkpoint and use the main road to Toubas, jeopardizing my life and that of my son and sister. I have attempted to cross the checkpoint several times but to no avail. During my attempts to access my land through dirt roads, the Israeli army detained me several times in the camp from morning until evening.

The last time I was arrested was 13 March 2005. On that day, I reached Tayasir checkpoint at eight in the morning. When it was my turn to be inspected, the soldiers asked me for a permit to enter my land through the checkpoint. I told the soldier that I wanted to go to my land and that I didn’t need a permit, but the soldier absolutely refused to let me pass through the checkpoint. Due to my insistence to pass through, the soldiers aimed their weapons at me and threatened to kill me. That continued for two

hours, and after that I called Al-Haq and told them what had happened. After a short time, the soldier ordered me to come to him and when I did, he told me, “I don’t want to see you near the checkpoint, hurry away from here”. He said this while he was aiming his weapon at me. I returned back to Toubas with pain in my heart because I was unable to reach my land.

Several times I applied for a permit to cross the checkpoints, and on 18 April 2005, I obtained that permit. On Saturday, 14 May 2005, I went to my land through Tayasir checkpoint with my permit. I reached the checkpoint at 11 am, and there were three cars waiting to be inspected. At 11:30 I got out of my car and went on foot towards the two soldiers who were at the checkpoint. As I was approaching them, one of the soldiers aimed his weapon at me.

That soldier, approximately 20 years old, had a red beard, and was wearing the full military uniform. I gave him my ID card and the permit. He looked at these documents and started to laugh and speak Hebrew with me. Then he asked me, “Where are you going?” I told him that I was going to my land and pointed at it with my hand. The two soldiers started talking with each other and one of them said to the other, “This man is a liar”. Meanwhile, one of the two soldiers threw my ID card on the ground between his feet and asked me to pick it up. I obliged myself and bent between the legs of that soldier and picked up my card while the two soldiers were laughing. After that, they permitted me to pass through the checkpoint.

I walked on foot a distance of six km while I was in a very bad state because of the humiliation I was subjected to. I returned to Toubas through the same checkpoint without entering my land because of this miserable state. I am an old man (58 years old), and I have been subjected to the ugliest types of humiliation only because the Israeli forces want to deprive me of my land and confiscate it for the interest of their military camp. It is worth noting that my agricultural land supports my seven-member family and it is our only source of income. As a result of being deprived of the ability to cultivate and work on my land, my family lives in very difficult conditions. I support three of my sons who study at al-Najah National University in Nablus. Moreover, I suffer from heart problems and my wife suffers from a brain tumor. Actually, I live in very bad conditions and I am in dire need for my agricultural produce in order to cover the medical costs of my wife and myself, and the education for my children. Help me please.

This is my statement and hereby I sign, 23 June 2005
Signature: Tawfiq Daraghma

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2415/2005
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 23 June 2005
  • Name: Tawfiq Daraghma
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