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Affidavit No. 4077/2008

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, Walid Muhammad I’qab Nazzal of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 940505449, born on 29 January 1962, unemployed and a resident of Qabatiya, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

My house is located in the western quarter of Qabatiya town, south of Jenin city. It is a two-floor house. The first floor is a basement while the second is at the same level of the surrounding houses. I live with my wife and seven children in addition to my brother, Salah I’qab Nazzal, his wife and 11 children on the second floor, which consists of five rooms, a bathroom and a large courtyard in the middle. The house is a traditional old Palestinian house in which the rooms surround the courtyard. The wife of my brother, Basem, who was sentenced to life plus 23 years, and is now imprisoned in an Israeli jail, lives with their only son in the basement. The house is surrounded by a wall built at the level of the first floor and not reaching the second floor. The roof of the second floor is high and overlooks nearby streets.

On Monday 4 February 2008, at approximately 2:30 am, I was still awake watching TV when I sensed and heard some movement around the house, specifically to its northern side, the sound of the movement coming from close to my house. As there is a continuous presence of Palestinian armed men in this neighbourhood, the Israeli army raids the area almost every night and clashes with these Palestinians. I heard footsteps on the roof, just above the second floor. Then I heard one bullet being fired, shortly followed by another two bullets. The sound of the gunfire was coming from the roof of my house.

I instantly realised that the shooters were Israeli soldiers who, as I later found out, had climbed the roof of my house unseen. Without entering my house, they used a ladder which they had brought with them and positioned it on the northern side of my house.

They deployed on my roof in order to ambush the Palestinian armed men. Until 3:00 am, no more gunfire occurred. Then, at 3:00 am, without any prior warning by the Israeli soldiers, around 30 bullets were fired from the roof of my house. Until that time, the soldiers did not raid my house. At around 3:30 am, around eight to ten Israeli military jeeps arrived and deployed in our neighbourhood, particularly to the north of my house.

Then ten of the soldiers who had climbed up the ladder to my roof were getting down to the courtyard of our house. It is worth noting that it is easy to jump into the courtyard because the wall surrounding the house does not reach as high as the courtyard. Meanwhile, the Israeli soldiers ordered everyone inside the house to go out to the courtyard and that’s what we all did. In the courtyard, I saw the metallic ladder which the soldiers used to climb the roof.

The soldiers were wearing their full military uniform, which we are familiar with, and were using night vision binoculars. Some of their faces were painted black, which scared everyone who saw them. We panicked. They were carrying some long and some short weapons. The soldiers who entered the courtyard searched only the rooms on the second floor. I did not see them going down to the first floor. After searching the rooms they left through the main gate of the house on the south side. They did not arrest anybody. After the Israeli soldiers withdrew from the roof, they took down the ladder and got into big jeeps. At 3:45 am of the same day, the Israeli force finally left the area.

When the Israeli soldiers left, I stepped out to see what happened and who had been shot. I found out that that they had initially fired one bullet and then two more bullets at 24 year old Naji Samir Nazzal, who lives in the same quarter, south of my house. This young man was known to be wanted by the Israeli soldiers because he was an activist in the Palestinian resistance. After he was hit by the three bullets, several women came out and saved his life by dragging him into the house of Fayez Mahmoud located in the vicinity of my house, 30 metres to the south. One of the women who dragged Naji was my sister ‘Adla Muhammad Taleb, who lives in a house to the west of my house. It is worth noting that the soldiers raided the house of Fayez Mahmoud in an attempt to arrest Naji Nazzal. However, since they did not recognise Naji, they left the house without him.

I headed to the east side of my house. When I reached a small square located opposite the house of Hafez Nazzal, 150 metres east of my house, I saw a young man lying on the ground on his abdomen. When I approached him, I found out that he was dead. I recognised him; it was Ahmad Sadeq Abu-Zeid. He was an activist and wanted by the Israeli occupying forces because he was active in Saraya al-Quds, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad. Ahmad was shot in his face, chest, abdomen, limbs and every part of his body. At that moment, I heard women and men shouting “God is great!” I headed towards where the shouting was coming from and saw another young man lying on the ground, on his back.

He was lying in the middle of an asphalted street at around 140 metres from my home and at about 30-40 metres northwest from where Ahmad Sadeq was lying on the ground. I instantly recognised him. His name was ‘Ammar ‘Abd-al-Rahim Zakarna. He was also shot in his head, chest, abdomen and different parts of his body. He was dead. A Palestinian ambulance arrived and carried the two martyrs to Jenin Governmental Hospital in Jenin city. It seems to me that the Israeli soldiers had sneaked out on foot into the area. Some of them climbed onto the roof of my house, while others deployed around my house. When they saw Naji Nazzal passing by, they opened fire on him and shot him in his leg.

When the women went out to save Naji Nazzal, the Israeli soldiers once again opened fire, shooting Naji Nazzal in his abdomen. When the other two young men learned that their friend was injured, they wanted to reach him in order to save his life. Ahmad Abu-Zeid was coming from the east. When he reached the open square located in front of the house of Hafez Nazzal, 150 metres from the Israeli soldiers and in their plain sight, the Israeli soldiers fired at him without any warning, killing him on the spot. At the same time, ‘Ammar Zakarna arrived at the same spot, from the north. When the soldiers positioned at the roof of my house saw him, they opened fire at him and killed him. Then, the Israeli occupying force left the place.

It is worth noting that the roof of my house is the highest roof in the neighbourhood and therefore overseas the whole area. This fact helped the Israeli soldiers to accurately define their target. Finally, I would like to mention that I did not hear the soldiers directing any kind of warning towards the young men before they fired at them. Besides, no armed confrontation took place between these young men and the Israeli soldiers. I know this because we Palestinians have become capable of distinguishing shootings in armed confrontations when they take place.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4077/2008
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 18 February 2008
  • Name: Walid Muhammad I’qab Nazzal
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