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Affidavit No.3378/2007


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, Ahmad Hasan Ahmad Abu-Ghosh, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 903568418, born on 27 October 1953, a contractor and a resident of Ramallah city, Ramallah Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I was born and lived my childhood in the village of ‘Imwas, west of Jerusalem city. I studied in the ‘Imwas Boys High School. In this school, there were also students from the villages of Yalo and Beit Nouba, located in the vicinity of our village, but without their own high schools. These two villages had only primary schools. I remember my school very well. It had nine classrooms and was only one floor. It was located on a large piece of land with many orchards. This was because agriculture was also taught in school. For this reason, there were fields in and around the school to teach students how to plant vegetables and fruits. I also remember the animal farm that was attached to the school.

My school was near the centre of the village, on the southern side. The main entrance was on the main street of the village. It also had volleyball and basketball courts. I remember many of my school friends such as Heidar Ibrahim, 'Abd-al-Malek Mahmoud, Hashem Muhammad Theeb Yousef and Mu'ti 'Abd-al-Rahman. I completed the first preparatory grade in that school in 1967. I remember also that there were two Jordanian army military camps in my village. The Jordanian flags could be seen in these two camps and on the military vehicles, trucks, tanks and jeeps. On the jeeps, one could read "The Jordanian Army". One of these two camps was known as Latroun Castle. The other one, which was located behind a hill, was known as Jabal al-Sheikh and was directly overlooking Bab al-Wad Street.

On Tuesday 6 June 1967, when I was 14 years old, as I was sleeping in my family's home located on the eastern side of ‘Imwas, my father woke me up at about 4:00 am and said: “Get up… get up… put on your clothes… we have to leave”. I got up and found all my family awake. This included my father, Hasan Ahmad, my mother, Fatima Muhammad 'Abd-al-'Aziz, and my sister, Ni’ma. My mother and father were discussing whether or not to leave the village. I looked out the window and saw a chain of lights coming towards our village from the west. These lights formed an arch. I heard my father saying to my mother that maybe we could stay in our home, despite reports that the Israelis were going to occupy most of the West Bank and that they had won the war against the Arabs that had broken out the previous day, 5 June 1967.

My father asked me to help him build a shelter for the family and we made a safe one in our house. At around 4:40 am, at dawn, my brother Yousef arrived at our house. He is older than me and was a volunteer in the Jordanian army in the Latroun Castle military camp. My brother told me that the Israeli army were about to enter the village and that the Jordanian army had already withdrawn from its military camps. My father decided that we should leave the village immediately and go to Beit 'Our village. We carried some clothes but left without taking any food or water, and left all the furniture. We proceeded towards the road of that would take us to Yalo village. We took this road because it is further from the border with Israel and the soldiers would not see us. We walked approximately three kilometres before we reached Yalo village. I did not see any Israeli soldiers. I only heard the sounds of explosives and occasionally that of bullets. I saw dozens of civilians both
behind and in front of us.

We reached Yalo early in the morning. We saw dozens of the residents of Yalo gathered in the centre of the village. We asked the adults what was going on and about the situation of the roads. We also asked if it was true that the Israelis had entered ‘Imwas village. As I was standing beside my mother, I saw a Jordanian military jeep completely destroyed. I heard the sound of airplanes and, when I lifted my head, saw military planes flying low above us. I heard a man saying that these were Israeli planes and another saying that it was these planes that had destroyed the jeep. In Yalo, we met with Dalal 'Abd-al-'Aziz, the wife of my brother Yousef, who joined us. Then I went with my father and some men to a nearby place overlooking the main road linking ‘Imwas and Ramallah. There, I saw three to four tanks and about three soldiers wearing the Israeli military uniform, which I saw for the first time. Local civilians carrying luggage were passing in front of the soldiers and going towards Ramallah.

My father asked me to follow him and to stay beside him with the other family members, except for Yousef, who separated himself from us. I did not know where he had gone. My father, mother, sister and sister-in-law walked until towards the tanks and soldiers. We military uniform lying on the ground. I do not remember the specific features of the Israeli soldiers except that they were tall and blond. Their uniforms were olive green, almost khaki, and they wore helmets of the same colour. I did not hear any of them talking. We continued walked another four kilometres until we reached Beit Liqiya and the Kharbatha intersection. There, I also saw tanks and soldiers wearing the same uniform. Because of this, my father told us to use a rural road. We walked through trees along rugged roads. I was very hungry and thirsty but there was no food or water. I felt sick from the plums that we had picked on the way. We then reached a spring. I threw myself on the ground and drank water. There was no food available near the spring, however. I saw dozens of civilians, including women, children and the elderly, suffering from fatigue. I saw people near the spring lying on the ground, with small packages of clothes beside them. We stayed near the spring for about two hours. All the time, new groups were arriving from the villages of Beit 'Our, Yalo and Beit Nouba. I knew from my father that we were only a small distance from Ramallah. We then left to continue the walk. On the road, I did not see any soldiers or tanks. I do not remember how long we walked. I then heard my father saying, “Thank God, we have reached Ramallah!” As we were walking on the Industrial Area Street going from Bitouniya to the centre of Ramallah city, we met a family friend, the late Karim Khalaf, near the Abu-Rayya Centre.

As his home was on the opposite side, he invited us to stay with him to eat and sleep. We stayed at his home for three months. It is worth noting that we met my brother Yousef in Ramallah, who had moved with his wife into the house of his friend, Abu-Mahmoud. I remember the first night in Ramallah when curfew was imposed. I saw armoured vehicles in the streets and heard explosives as well as the sound of bullets. Curfew was lifted for several hours everyday. I also heard loudspeakers asking people to hand over their weapons. This situation continued for three days. On 10 June 1967, I heard the Israelis saying in Arabic through the loudspeakers that everyone who had left his village could return. My brother Yousef came in the morning and discussed with my father about returning to the village. My father told him to go back to check the situation and come back to tell us. My brother Yousef left with a number of people from our village and the neighbouring villages. He returned in the evening and told us that he could not reach the village because the Israeli soldiers who were positioned at the entrance of Beit Nouba had
opened fire on them and forced them to flee again.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 3378/2007
  • Field researcher: Manaf Abbas
  • Affidavit Date: 22 February 2007
  • Name: Ahmad Hasan Ahmad Abu-Ghosh
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