Affidavit No. 4473/2008

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, Khalil 'Atwa Muhammad Abu-Rjeila, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 955030135, born in 1952, a businessman and a resident of Khuza'a town, Khan Younes Governorate, would like to declare the following:

At about 8:50 pm on Friday, 14 November 2008, I was at the wedding party of my son Bilal, who is about 19 years of age. I organised the wedding party in front of my house along Abu-Rjeila street, a side road in the town of Khuza'a, east of the city of Khan Younes. A popular band sang popular songs at the party and approximately 300 people were in attendance, including men, women and children from amongst our relatives, neighbours and friends. I was surprised when a group of about 20 masked individuals arrived at the party, carrying sticks and wearing civilian clothes. I saw them beat participants, break chairs, and disrupt the party. Minutes after their arrival, another group of masked individuals came. They carried sticks and weapons and opened fire intensively. They were approximately 15 individuals, and had ribbons on their masks, on which al-Qassam Brigades' was printed. I saw them destroy chairs and the wedding platform. I tried to talk to them, but it was useless.

They ordered me to get into the house. Meanwhile, I saw a number of individuals pour fuel on and set fire to the wedding hall, loudspeakers and cameras. About an hour later, I came out of the house. I saw chairs damaged and the loudspeakers and platform destroyed. The windshield of my Toyota jeep, as well as windshields on other vehicles that were parked nearby, were broken. I also learned that, after destroying the outer door, the armed individuals raided the house of my cousin Ra’ed ‘Abd-al-Malek Abu-Rjeila and his brother Sami.

Take into account that I called Khaled Abu-'Anza, an official in the Internal Security in Khan Younes, immediately after the masked individuals arrived. I also called the police and reported the incident to them. However, no one showed up. A number of my relatives saw Khaled al-Najjar, the al-Qassam Brigades' official in the area, while the armed individuals were disrupting the wedding party. Later, I informed a number of officials in the Hamas Movement (including Mahmoud al-Zahhar and Mushir al-Masri) about what had happened. They said they would conduct an investigation. At about 1:00 am on Saturday, 15 November 2008, a vehicle transporting a force of the Investigation Department arrived at my house to investigate in the incident.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4473/2008
  • Field researcher: Tariq Zaqout
  • Affidavit Date: 15 November 2008
  • Name: Khalil 'Atwa Muhammad Abu-Rjeila
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