Affidavit No. 2737/2005

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, Ihsan Amin Mahmoud Mahmoud, holderof ID # 940810195, born on 8 April 1964, a farmer and a resident of the Al-Ras village,Toulkarem Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a citizen of Al-Ras village located nine kilometres south of Toulkarem city. The village population is only around 500 persons. I work as a farmer on my land, amounting to 200 dunums planted with olive trees and containing greenhouses. My family, brothers and I used to rely on the income generated from the crops of this land.

At the beginning of 2002, however, the Israeli occupying forces embarked on the construction of the so-called Separation Wall. This Wall stretched along the west side of Al-Ras village, causing the confiscation of thousands of dunums in that area, including agricultural lands. The Israeli occupying forces constructed the Wall in the Al-Ras area, in the form of barbed wires and asphalted roads. Moreover, along the entire Wall surrounding the village, only one iron gate was erected in order to allow the Palestinian farmers to pass to their agricultural lands located behind the Wall.

The gate is located two kilometres to the west of the village. At the beginning of 2004, the occupying authorities completed the construction of the Wall in our area. The Israeli occupying authorities issued military orders stating that every farmer who wants to cross through the gate (No. 753) to his land, has to obtain a permit. Like all other villagers, I applied through the Palestinian Liaison in Toulkarem to obtain a permit but the Israeli authorities rejected my application and refused to give me a permit, alleging that I was rejected for security reasons.

Since then and until now, I have submitted around 20 applications to obtain a permit that allows me to go to my land, and every time the Israeli authorities have rejected my application for security reasons. I also attempted to obtain a magnetic card through three lawyers, but all my attempts have failed. I have never been arrested and I am not an activist nor affiliated to any political party. Currently, and for the past four years, I have not been able to pass through the gate in order to go to my land and take care of it, which led to the destruction of my crop. The cause of this lack of care is the Israeli occupation, the Wall and the gates.

I appeal to Al-Haq and all other law organisations to immediately intervene to force the Israeli authorities to issue me this permit. It is very odd that a Palestinian citizen needs to obtain a permit in order to reach his own land and his livelihood as a result of the construction of the Separation Wall.

Moreover, for more than two months, the Israeli army has prevented granting any citizen from Al-Ras village permits to pass through the gate. This measure has specifically been taken against the citizens of Al-Ras, which has been subjected to strict and tight military measures for an extended period of time. These measures

include the erection of checkpoints at the village's entrances, raiding the village, and other acts that violate the rights of Palestinian citizens.

It is also worth noting that these measures have deprived me and my family of our source of livelihood as I rely on the income generated from the land to feed my four small children. I have no job other than cultivating and planting that land.

This is my statement and hereby I sign, 20 December 2005
Signature: Ihsan Amin Mahmoud

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2737/2005
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 20 December 2005
  • Name: Ihsan Amin Mahmoud
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