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Affidavit No. 4320/2008

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, Ashraf Ibrahim Ahmed Dar Abu-Rahma, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 906435698, born on 5 March 1981, a volunteer in the Popular Committee against the Wall and a resident of the Bil'in village, Ramallah Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a Palestinian citizen from the village of Bil'in, Ramallah Governorate. I am an activist in the Popular Committee against the Wall and I am the only person allowed to stay overnight in a caravan belonging to the Committee, in order to monitor developments in the construction of the Wall, which is being built on the land of my village. I also take part in all the peaceful demonstrations organised by the Committee. Lately, I was also active in demonstrations protesting against the construction of the Wall in the village of Ni'lin.

I am familiar with most of the patrols of the Israeli occupying soldiers. On several occasions I have sustained injuries from rubber-coated steel bullets. Because I stay in the caravan near the Wall, Border Guard patrols also know me. I remember that five months ago occupying troops raided the caravan where I sleep and searched it.

"We could shoot you and no one would know about you," a soldier told me. I have participated in many peaceful demonstrations in the village of Ni'lin. At about 11:00 am on 7 July 2008, I went with a group of young people from my village to the village of Ni'lin. A number of foreign activists were also along with us. We intended to deliver some supplies to the village residents. We arrived at the area of al-Muhallal, an area in Ni'lin that is isolated by the main road leading to the settlement of Moda'in. This area is not subject to the curfew, which is imposed over most parts of the village of Ni'lin.

Dozens of regular army soldiers were there. They instantly started to fire tear gas grenades as well as rubber-coated steel bullets at us. I also saw a number of soldiers get out of four military jeeps to disperse the protestors. When I fled, a number of occupying soldiers pursued and arrested me. They also arrested Basel Mansour, a 21 year old resident of my village. They put me onboard a military jeep and Basel onboard another.

A soldier punched my back, pulled my hair and hit my face against the jeep floor. He also slapped my face several times and shouted obscenities, which I do not like to mention here. In the military jeep, soldiers took me to the entrance to the village of Ni'lin, where a military post was positioned. Having forced me out of the jeep, soldiers blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back with plastic handcuffs.

They also forced me to sit on the ground for three hours. The sun was blazing. A soldier came along and forced me to stand up. I heard soldiers talk in Hebrew. I only understood the word gomi, which means rubber. A moment later I heard the sound of an explosion, coming from between my legs. I felt severe pain and fell to the ground. I screamed due to the immense pain. I think I fainted for two minutes.

Blindfolded and handcuffed, I shouted to a soldier in Arabic, "I am a prisoner. Why are you treating me like this?" "This is nothing," he replied. "Next time, we will do more than this and let you go to hell."

Then, the occupying soldiers untied my hands and removed the blindfold. I saw my left toe was greatly swollen. I suffered immense pain. A soldier in military uniform with a first aid bag approached me and looked at my foot. He poured cold water on it and told me I was fine. About an hour later, soldiers took my ID card and released me, without returning my ID.

At around 4:00 pm, I returned to the area of al-Muhallal, limping. I met with a number of foreign volunteers and phoned ‘Abdallah Abu-Rahma, Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall in Bil'in. I told him about what had happened to me. He asked a foreign volunteer to get my ID card from the soldiers, which he did. An ambulance belonging to the Red Crescent Society was in the area. Medics offered me first medical aid and I returned to the village.

On Sunday, 20 July 2008, a video clip was broadcast on satellite channels, showing occupying soldiers fire a rubber-coated steel bullet towards my feet from a close range, while I was handcuffed and blindfolded. On Monday morning, 21 July 2008, I went to the military police at the 'Anatot Military Camp and made a statement about how the soldiers treated me on the day they arrested me. I made my statement in Arabic as the interrogator spoke Arabic. The interrogator focused on whether I had heard any orders from the officer as to open fire. Of course, as I was handcuffed and blindfolded, I did not see anything. As I could not speak Hebrew, I did not understand the conversation between the soldiers. I learned that on the same day, the soldier who opened fire on me was arrested. I also learned that today, 22 July 2008, he was released as he claimed that he misunderstood the officer's orders.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4320/2008
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 22 July 2008
  • Name: Ashraf Ibrahim Ahmed Dar Abu- Rahma
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