Affidavit No. 4118/2008

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, Ghaliya Ahmad Muhammad Darduna, ofPalestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 915836431, born on 8 November 1964, a housewife and a resident of Saleh Darduna Street, Jabaliya Governorate, al-Balad – North Gaza, wouldlike to declare the following:

On Thursday 28 February 2008 at approximately 2:00 pm, my 11 year old son Darduna Deib Khalil Darduna, came back home from school. He told me that the school administration decided to evacuate the school and send the students home. The administration feared that the students would be affected by the continuous shelling of the occupation planes, which for days had been roaring over Jabaliya and other areas in east Gaza. On that day, the planes of the occupying forces were soaring intensively over Jabaliya.

My home is situated on Saleh Darduna Street, a sub-street to al-Karm Street located east of Jabaliya al-Balad and named after a man who was killed by the Israeli occupying forces. Our house is two kilometres away from the border separating the Gaza Strip from the territories occupied by Israel in 1948.

My son Darduna put down his school bag, had lunch and as usual rushed outside to play football with his cousins and his friends from the neighbourhood on a playground nearby our home, 100 metres to the north. 15 minutes later, I heard a very loud explosion. The explosion was very close to our house, making it tremble. I panicked. I thought about my son, his cousins and friends and went out to check on them. I hurried to the playground where my son plays football on a daily basis.

No sooner had I arrived at the playground than I saw several children lying on the ground, and dust filling the place. I started searching for my son among the other children. There was a 27 year old man called Ahmad Husein Darduna also looking for the children. I asked him about my son but he did not answer me. As I was searching for my son, I saw from a distance of around five metres the bodies of four children, which looked like coal and were torn into pieces. I could not approach any closer fearing that my son would be one of them. I continued searching for my son all around and I saw body parts of children spread all over the playground, due to the intensity of the explosion. Then I noticed a plastic shoe that was very familiar to me and I realised that the foot attached to the shoe was my son’s. My son was one of the four children whose bodies were torn to pieces.

I was very sad and bitter. I felt weak and collapsed. I could not stand up. I sat on the ground and started crying. Again I asked Ahmad Husein Darduna about my son. I asked him if my son was among the dead children and if he was able to identify them. Then he finally told me that my son was one of the four children killed by the explosion and that the other children were ‘Umar Husein Darduna, who is Ahmad’s brother, ‘Ali Munir Darduna and Muhammad Na’im Hammouda, Ahmad’s cousin.

After approximately 10 minutes, an ambulance arrived with three relievers. With the help of Ahmad, they carried the parts of the four children, including my child, to the ambulance in two pieces of cloth. The injured children were taken in civilian cars to the hospital. My husband and I followed the ambulance to Kamal ‘Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya where we received Darduna’s corpse. On the second day, we buried my son together with the other three children.

It is worth noting that the area in which the children were playing football is an empty square. No members of the Palestinian resistance were present, nor were any rockets launched from that place. Jabaliya al-Balad, where we live, is the highest spot from the sea level within the Gaza Strip. As such, the area is clearly visible to the Israeli occupying forces that are regularly deploying two kilometres behind the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip, which separates Gaza from the territories occupied in 1948.


Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4118/2008
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 7 March 2008
  • Name: Ghaliya Ahmad Muhammad Darduna
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