Affidavit No. 4070/2008

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, Ayman ‘Adnan Qasem ‘Awwad, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 932511371, born on 5 March 1981, currently unemployed, and a resident of ‘Awarta, Nablus Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 7 February 2008 at around 10:00 pm, I was with my family, my mother Fardos, 60 years old, my brothers Khalil, 22 years old, ‘Isam, 39 years old, Qasem, 36 years old, and his wife Kifaya, 26 years old, as well as their sons ‘Adnan, 11 years old, Qais, seven years old, ‘Ubada, six years old, ‘Abd-al-Rahman, four years old, and Seif, who is two years old.

We were all gathered on the second floor of our two story house which is parallel to a side street in our village ‘Awarta. At the said hour, we suddenly heard a heavy knocking on the southern entrance of the house, which is parallel to the side street. The knocking was accompanied by the shouting of a number of soldiers: “Open the door! Army! Come down and out of the house! All of you to the street! Quickly!” As a result I hurried down with my brothers Khalil and Qasem to the entrance and as I opened the door I saw more than 40 soldiers. The majority of them were carrying hand lamps and long weapons, wearing their usual military uniform and helmets. Their faces were painted black.

Seconds after we opened the door, a soldier, whose face was not painted in black, approached us. From the marks on his shoulders I realised that he was an officer. I assumed that he was 40 years old. He spoke to us in Arabic and sometimes in English, which I understand, requesting our identity cards. After we gave them to him, he returned the identity card of my brother Qasem and asked him to go back into the house.

During that time, a number of soldiers were moving towards the house of the Abu-Taleb family, who are our neighbours to the west, around four metres away from our house. They also told them to leave the house. Taleb, who is around 55 years old, and his brother, ‘Abdallah, who is around 42 years old, came out. After that, no longer than five minutes after we had gone out to the street, the officer told us, and me and my brother Khalil in particular, to walk in front of the soldiers. ‘Abdallah and Taleb were walking among the soldiers and my brother and I were walking in front of them, according to the officer’s request. After walking east on the side street for 50 metres, a number of soldiers who were walking behind us started kicking us with their legs, hands and the bottoms of their rifles on our backs and legs for two minutes. Then they continued dragging us about 300 metres towards the centre of the village and far from our homes, to an area named al-Hadir. Then the soldiers stopped us. I could see an intensive deployment of patrols in the place and I could hear shooting and firing of vocal grenades by the soldiers who were deployed in the said area. When we arrived, my brother and I were stopped next to the wall of a commercial shop, our hands lifted and our faces facing away from the soldiers. We stood there for about five minutes. During this time my brother and I were subjected to beatings by the soldiers, who used their legs and hands and sometimes the bottoms of their rifles, to beat us on our legs and backs.

After the said period, the officer, who I mentioned earlier, arrived and dragged me about 10 metres away from my brother. He asked me about the head of the village council and
where he lived. I did not respond. So he threatened me, “If you do not guide us to the head of the council, we will arrest you at Huwwara military camp!” After five minutes of talking and my refusal to respond to him, the officer approached my brother Khalil, asking him the same questions. I could hear him. After less than five minutes of the officer telling my brother Khalil to guide him to the head of the council and my brother refusing to do so, the officer ordered us to sit next to each other on the floor in the Arabic manner, which means crossing our legs under our bottoms. A number of soldiers were surrounding us in a circle and Taleb and ‘Abdallah were close to us. We stayed seated like that for around three hours, in the cold weather.

The officer approached us and told all of us to stand up in order to take back our identity cards. As I stood up, I felt dizzy and a severe pain in my right leg because of the beating
that I had been subjected to. Despite all this, I held myself up and my identity card was given back to me. When it was my brother Khalil’s turn to receive his identity card, the soldiers did not have it. When we asked the officer about my brother’s identity card, he replied, “Don’t ask me about the identity card! There were more than 40 officers who entered ‘Awarta village and I do not know which of the officers took it.”

We went back to our homes and my body was in pain as a result of the beatings I had received on my right leg. I stayed up at home until 6:00 am the next day, when the Israeli army soldiers imposed a curfew on the village. The same day at around 10:00 am, while I was standing on the roof of our house, I could see around five patrols passing by on the side street. In the meantime three private cars, old Fiats, were stopping on the sidewalk to the right of the house of the Abu-Taleb family, which is around 10 metres away from our house to the west. I saw a number of soldiers throwing stones on the parked cars and breaking all the windows. They left in less than three minutes.

As for the presence of the soldiers in the village, as I mentioned earlier, they arrived on 7 February 2008 and left the village on 8 February 2008 at around 2:00 pm, when the curfew was finally lifted.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4070/2008
  • Field researcher: Yousef Qawareiq
  • Affidavit Date: 10 February 2008
  • Name: Ayman ‘Adnan Qasem ‘Awwad
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