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Affidavit No. 4456/2008

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, Kafa ‘Abd-al-Karim Mohammad Shteiwi, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 955690169, born on 1 January 1970, a housewife and a resident of Kufr Qaddoum village, Qalqiliya Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 22 October 2008, I was with my children: Ahmad, who is five years old, and Suha, who is two and a half years old. We were accompanied by three British women, who were international volunteers: Linda, Josephine and Sue, who were all in their early sixties. In coordination with the village council, these British women had come to help the village residents with the olive harvest. We were riding in the car, which was a grey Volkswagen, belonging to Mr. Jamal Amin Jum'a, who is about 35 years old. We were leaving our village of Kufr Qaddoum to go to our olive groves, located about seven kilometres west of the village. Having travelled almost two thirds of the distance, only about 300 metres away from our land, we stopped the car, as the road was too rugged for the car to continue. As soon as we stopped and stepped out of the car, the driver turned the car around so that he could go back, while we would continue on foot.

However, the driver stopped, stepped out of the car as well, and stood beside us. We were surprised to see a Jewish man standing at a distance of about two metres away from us, carrying an iron bar in his hand and waving it in the air in all directions. He was wearing a white shirt and trousers, a cap on his head, and appeared to be in his late thirties. As soon as he saw us, he began to whistle and he looked towards the top of a mountain located approximately 150 metres in front of us to the east. We realised that a large number of settlers was standing on top of that mountain. They quickly hurried down the mountain until they were facing us. We stood there next to the settler, not knowing what to do, with the driver holding my children in his hands.

The settlers were in civilian clothes of various colours, and I did not see them carrying any weapons. When they were about 50 metres away, they started to throw stones at the car and in our direction. Two of them came closer, wanting to take my children and kidnap them. At that point, I started to scream and managed to take my children from the driver and to run into the car for protection.

From inside the car, I saw another group of settlers try to capture the driver and the foreign women. However, they also managed to flee and get inside the car. The settlers started attacking the car with stones while we were all inside. The children started screaming in fear. The settlers damaged the car’s hood and headlights with the stones they were picking up off the ground. We were all in a severe state of fear and panic. Then, the settlers began shouting in Hebrew, which the driver understood.

He told us that they were saying that they wanted to bring fuel and burn the car and those inside it. We were stricken with fear and asked the driver to leave the area. So the driver took off at a great speed. When we were about 150 metres west, away from the settlers, we stopped and looked towards them. No one chased us; they stayed in their place. One of the foreign women, Linda, called the Israeli police to let them know what had happened. Her call with them lasted about two minutes. I did not understand the language she spoke, but the driver informed me that she was explaining the situation to the police. After her call, I took her phone and called my husband, Abu al-Nimer, and told him what had happened to us. About 20 minutes later, my husband arrived, accompanied by dozens of village residents. We got out of the car and stood beside them and they began to talk with us. Around an hour and a half later, I saw two Israeli patrol vehicles, one of which was a Hummer and the other a Jeep, as well as an Israeli police car, arrive and stop beside the settlers. At that point, we dared to approach them all together. My husband began to argue with a member of the police in Arabic. The police officer told my husband and others present that the area we were currently in was a closed military zone that day. Accordingly, we were forbidden to access the area that day and the foreign women were forbidden from accessing it for all of their future days with us, as they said it was prohibited to bring any foreigners into the olive groves.

The police, the army, and the setters expelled us from the area. So with soldiers pointing their weapons towards us, we left the area and do not know what happened to them after we left. We returned the following day, but of course, without the foreign women. I went with my children, but my husband did not come because of his job as the chairman of the village council. As soon as we arrived at our land, we found that all of our belongings, including four olive mats, two ladders, five sacks of olive crops,
a tea kettle, cups, dishes, tea and sugar, were missing. It is well known that no one from the village would dare to come to the land, as it was a closed military zone. I immediately went back and told my husband what had happened. Take into account
that we used to leave the olive crops on the land because cars could not always transport them on a daily basis, as the road was too rugged, so we would leave them in order to then transport them all at once.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4456/2008
  • Field researcher: Husniyya ‘Ali Ahmad
  • Affidavit Date: 23 October 2008
  • Name: Kafa ‘Abd-al-Karim Mohammad Shteiwi
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