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Affidavit No. 2527/2005

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, 'Amer Muhammad Tayeh 'Ata, holder of ID # 935662841, born on 3 January 1967, a trader and a resident of Toulkarem Camp, Toulkarem Governorate, would like to declare the following:

At approximately 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, 24 August 2005, I was sitting with my friend Abu-'Ala’ Haron and his son in front of their shop located in al-Shuhada’ Quarter on the main street in the center of Toulkarem Camp. We were surprised when a white car of a new brand [GMC] with a Palestinian license plate stopped three metres from us. The car came from the northern entrance of the camp via the Toulkarem-Nablus Street. I also saw the driver, who was wearing a white T-shirt, and two other young men sitting beside him in the front seat who were also wearing white T-shirts. I could not see those in the back seat because there were curtains on the back windows.

As soon as the car stopped, the windows rolled down and weapons were aimed at us. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers wearing military uniforms got out of the car. One of the men in plain clothes shouted at us, “Lay down on the ground”. At the same time, several soldiers got out of the car and started shooting southwest, towards the shop of 'Abd-al- Rahman and the Hudeib family’s house, where a number of young men were sitting. Abu-al-'Ala', 'Ala', and I obeyed the orders and laid on our stomachs on the ground. The same soldier shouted, “Don’t look, and if anyone lifts his head, I will shoot him”.

Meanwhile, continuous, intense shooting was taking place near us and many soldiers were running around. A military jeep then came Then five additional military vehicles, and approximately 15 jeeps, including white jeeps [Israeli intelligence forces jeeps], and an ambulance [belonging to the Israeli army] came to the scene. I looked with alarm and saw the ambulance enter via a narrow road opposite to where we were lying, adjacent to the Hudeib house the youths were sitting when the shooting occurred. From time to time, the soldiers shouted at us, saying, “Don’t lift your heads up”. This situation continued for approximately an hour and a half.

At approximately one a.m. 25 August 2005, the Israeli jeeps, military vehicles, and soldiers’ carriers started to withdraw towards the north. An Israeli military jeep stopped near us, and an officer and two soldiers got out and the officer ordered us in Arabic to stand up. He asked if any one of us had been hit, and when we told him that none of us was injured, he told us to lift our hands over our heads and enter the shop [Abu-al-'Ala’ shop] located directly behind us. We entered the shop, shaking with extreme fear. Then the Israeli army left the scene.

When we were sure that the army left, we hurried over to see what happened. To our surprise, we saw blood flowing down the street and a large amount of blood in front of the Hudeib family’s house and the 'Abd-al-Rahman shop, without seeing any bodies. I then realized that the victims had been taken in the ambulance to inside the Green Line. This is in fact what happened.

At two a.m. Thursday, 25 August 2005, the Israeli liaison located west of Toulkarem handed over the bodies of four victims to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, and at four a.m. that same morning a fifth body was handed over. Later that morning, we

learned the names of the five victims: 'Adel al-Ghawi “Abu Khalil” from 'Attil village, Toulkarem governorate, who resided in the camp to protect himself as he was wanted by the Israeli army; Majdi Muhammad Husein, an activist with the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades who was wanted by the Israeli army; Anas Abu-Zeina; Mahmoud Hudeib; and Muhammad Tareq. The last three victims were not activists and were killed because they were sitting in the same location as the two wanted victims.

This is my statement and hereby I sign, 26 August 2005
Signature: 'Amer 'Ata

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2527/2005
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 26 August 2005
  • Name: 'Amer 'Ata
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