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Affidavit No. 4383/2008

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, Taher Mahmoud Taher Bushnaq, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 905796736, born on 6 November 1979, a worker and a resident of Rummana village, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

The village of Rummana is approximately 10 kilometres west of the city of Jenin. A population of 5,000 residents live in the village. We own an area of about 90 dunums of agricultural land, west of the village of Rummana near the Salem Military Post. The land is cultivated with olive and almond trees. It was registered in the name of my grandfather Taher ‘Abd-al-Rahman Bushnaq. After he died, my father and uncles inherited the land.

This land is an essential source of income for us. It yields a good financial income through olive oil as well as the olive and almond harvest. On 16 June 2002, the Israeli occupying authorities started the construction of the Annexation Wall west of the village of Rummana. As our land is immediately adjacent to the Salem Military Post, approximately 40 dunums of our land were confiscated. Our land was the first in the Jenin area to be isolated by the Wall’s construction. Today, we suffer greatly due to difficulties associated with obtaining permits, which we need to cross iron gates set up along the Annexation Wall, in order to access our isolated land. An area of about 50 dunums of our land was spared. This land is only approximately 300 metres east of Salem Military Post.

In mid 2003, we were surprised when another military order was issued for the confiscation of another four dunums of our land. According to the order, this area of our land would be seized for Israeli military training purposes. The land was levelled and the olive and almond trees were uprooted. Having prepared the area, the Israeli army launched its military training operations. This was not to be the last measure however, as Israel’s greed for our land has persisted. On 9 July 2008, yet another order was issued for the confiscation of an additional six dunums of the land located near the training site mentioned above, for its expansion. Now, Israeli bulldozers are leveling the seized land and uprooting trees so that the Israeli army can start its training operations.

So far, we have lost an approximate area of 50 dunums of our land. Only 40 dunums have been left to us. Given that the Israeli army is expanding the training site on our land, we are not sure when the next confiscation will take place. The whole land may be seized if the Israeli army does not cease its policy against our land. Should this happen, we will lose the source of income that has been spared for us. I should note that Israeli troops have prevented us from accessing our land on several occasions, particularly during training hours in the morning and afternoon. Moreover, our presence on our land during the training period is very dangerous since Israeli troops use open fire on the training site, posing a threat to the life of any person present on the land.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4383/2008
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 3 September 2008
  • Name: Taher Mahmoud Taher Bushnaq
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