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Affidavit No. 4443/2008

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, Muhammad Husein Muhammad 'Awad, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 902469600, born on 12 January 1971, a farmer and a resident of Beit Ummar town, Hebron Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I live in the town of Beit Ummar. I am married and a father of four daughters and two sons. The oldest of them is my daughter Sabrin, who is 17 years old, and the youngest of them is my son Akram, who is ten years old. Around 12:30 pm on Saturday, 11 October 2008, I was present in front of my house, which is located approximately 25 metres north of the mosque. I saw a group of occupying soldiers detain two young men, Husam Abu-'Ayyash, about 20 years of age, and 'Uday al-Za'aqiq, about 17 years of age. There were about 20 women of varying ages requesting that the soldiers release the two detained youths. Minutes later, I saw my neighbour's son, Mu'taz Khaled 'Awad, who is about 15 and a half years old, go to his house, opposite mine, after having bought coffee from a shop nearby. Three soldiers followed Mu'taz inside his house, brought him out, and put him with the other detainees. The coffee was still in his hand. When I spoke to the soldiers who were detaining Mu’taz, I asked, "Why have you arrested him? He did not do anything." They responded that he had thrown stones.

Then, an officer arrived at the scene in another jeep. He bore insignia on his shoulders: perhaps three stars, though I do not remember exactly. I spoke with the officer in front of the mosque about Mu'taz and told him that soldiers had taken him out of his house despite the fact that he had not committed any offence. The officer replied that the three young men had been arrested because they had thrown stones. I kept quarrelling with him for about five minutes. During this time, a large number of women and men arrived and together demanded that the three young men be released. Several press photographers were also present in the area.

At this point, the officer issued orders to the soldiers to attack the crowd. Approximately 30 soldiers fired tear gas and sound grenades towards the gathered crowd of citizens, dispersing it. Then, the soldiers withdrew to the east, taking the three young men with them. The officer who I had been speaking to was the same one who issued the order to attack the civilian crowd. He himself also fired about 20 bullets in the air and left, going about five metres to the east, away from the gathering. Afterwards, while I was standing east of the mosque, in front of the restaurant, the officer came close to me, within a distance of only three or four metres. He then opened fire on me, which led to my injury in the left shoulder where the bullet penetrated.

An ambulance arrived to the area and within one minute, had me onboard and transported me to Hebron Public Hospital. While the ambulance crew was lifting me from the ground, soldiers fired tear gas towards us; I do not remember exactly if it was one or two tear gas grenades. I stayed at the hospital for two and a half days and left on the afternoon of Monday, 13 October 2008. At the hospital, they cleaned and stitched my wound. However, after I left the hospital, the wound became infected and opened. I am still suffering from my injury even now. I received medical treatment at home from a private physician and I must report back to the hospital in two days, that is specifically, on Monday, 27 October 2008.

When the officer issued the order to attack the gathering, soldiers not only fired tear gas and sound grenades, but also beat the citizens with their rifles. During the attack, Ahmad Murshed 'Awad, who is around 46 years of age, also sustained shrapnel wounds in his stomach. He was treated at the healthcare centre in town. Additionally, a number of women were injured and suffered contusions.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4443/2008
  • Field researcher: Hisham Sharabati
  • Affidavit Date: 25 October 2008
  • Name: Muhammad Husein Muhammad 'Awad
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