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Affidavit No. 4117/2008

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, Hatem Husni Rashid Abu-Shbak, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 900842675, born on 21 June 1972, a governmental employee and a resident of ‘Izbet ‘Abd Rabbo, Jabaliya al-Balad Governorate – North Gaza, would like to declare the following:

On Saturday, 1 March 2008, at 2:00 am, I was sitting in my home, located on the main street of ‘Izbet ‘Abd Rabbo in Jabaliya al-Balad. At that time, the Israeli occupying forces were raiding the area with a large number of tanks and military vehicles. They were positioning themselves on al-Kashef Mountain, located east of ‘Izbet ‘Abd Rabbo, approximately 500 metres east of my house.

I heard intensive firing coming from where the Israeli occupying forces were positioned. In this area we are used to Israeli army incursions and shooting. At the same time I heard intermittent firing by the Palestinian resistance members, which regularly confront the Israeli forces raiding the area. It is worth noting that my house is located 2 kilometres east of the Green Line separating Gaza from the territories occupied by Israel in 1948. The firing and throwing of artillery bombs continued and became more intensive in the area around my house. I panicked. I was scared for the sons of my brother Muhammad who live in a house that is opposite to my house, around 5 meters to the west. My anxiety increased when I learned that my brother was not home.

I called a friend of mine living in the same quarter who told me that a special Israeli force was deploying in the area and that members of the Palestinian resistance had discovered and confronted them. The confrontations ended with the withdrawal of the Palestinian members.

As the firing and shelling nonetheless continued, focusing in particular on the area of my brother’s house, I called my brother’s home to check on his wife and five children. I talked to my brother’s wife and we agreed that she and her children would stay in the house. 15 minutes after that phone call, while the firing and shelling of the Israeli artillery was continuing, I heard my brother’s wife and their 14 year old son Muhammad shouting, “Iyad and Jacqueline are injured.” Muhammad repeated this phrase several times. Immediately, I rushed to my brother’s house and found my nephew Iyad, 16, and his sister Jacqueline lying n the ground in the living room. I looked at Jacqueline, who was bleeding from her head and mouth, and I realised that she was dead because she was motionless and not breathing. She had been shot in the head. Then I examined Iyad. He was bleeding from his chest but he was still breathing. He had been shot in the right side of his chest. I provided him with first aid by putting a piece of cloth on the injured part to stop the bleeding.

After approximately 10 minutes, an ambulance arrived and transported Jacqueline and Iyad, after providing him with the required first aid, to Kamal ‘Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya. Due to the seriousness of his injuries, Iyad was transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Central Gaza, where he succumbed to his injuries and died two hours after his arrival. The Israeli occupying forces that were raiding the area had injured him while he was sitting in his living room with his mother, brothers and sisters Jacqueline, Muhammad, Wasim and Hala. When I returned home at approximately 5:50 am, I found four cars belonging to my father and brothers burning. My brothers told me that a shell hit the cars parking in front of our house. Two of the cars, one Subaru owned by my brother and a Mitsubishi owned by my father, were completely burned. The Civil Defence teams on the ground were able to extinguish the fire in the other two cars, but the intensity of the fire disabled both cars. My father, brothers and I gathered and headed together to al-Shifa Hospital where we retrieved Iyad’s corpse. Together with his sister we buried him in the Martyrs’ Cemetery east of Jabaliya.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4117/2008
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 9 March 2008
  • Name: Hatem Husni Rashid Abu-Shbak
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