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Affidavit No. 4486/2008

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, ‘Umar Husni Husein Subuh, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 927784850, born on 10 January 1970, a grocery owner and a resident of al- Far'a refugee camp, Toubas Governorate, would like to declare the following:

Housing a population of 8,000, al-Far'a refugee camp is approximately five kilometres south of the city of Tubas. I live along al- 'Araja Street in al-Far'a refugee camp. Since the beginning of October 2008 the Israeli occupying soldiers have been carrying out raids on our refugee camp almost every night. The raids start at about 12:00 am and last until about 4:00 am. During these raids, Israeli soldiers enter and search houses, and particularly target houses located at the eastern entrance to the refugee camp – the only entrance to the refugee camp.

At about 9:00 am on 7 October 2008, I was in the kitchen of my house and my wife Asma' Subuh and my daughter Ghayda', seven months, were also in the kitchen. The main door of the house was open, through which I was surprised to see two Israeli soldiers. The soldiers were in the dark green military uniform and carried long, black weapons. As soon as I saw them, they fired a bullet that hit my stomach. I fell to the ground, but I was aware of what was going on. My wife and daughter were in the kitchen and I could hear my wife scream several times, "You killed my husband." A soldier asked her about my name. "‘Umar Subuh," she answered.

He repeated the questions several times and then asked me about my name. I saw him take out a photograph from his pocket; he looked at it and at me repeatedly. That soldier, who seemed to be the officer because he spoke colloquial Arabic, requested my ID card. My wife brought it and gave it to him. He looked at it and threw it down on the ground. During this time my stomach bled heavily. A number of soldiers, who also entered my house, moved me to the sitting room. The said Israeli soldier, who was blond and of about 40 years of age, requested that I calm down and said that he would bring persons to offer me first aid medical treatment. Indeed, several persons wearing the military uniform and carrying weapons came in and offered me first aid.

"I will bring a helicopter to transport you to areas inside the Green Line [inside of Israel] for medical treatment," the same officer said to me. Members of that Israeli force stayed for about half an hour and at around 9:30 am they left, however, they did not take me with them to receive the promised medical treatment. Before he left the house, the officer had not spoken with me again. "Ambulance! Ambulance!" My wife shouted. Several minutes later, I was taken to an  ambulance belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, which transported me to Rafidiya Hospital in the city of Nablus, approximately 15 kilometres south of the  refugee camp. I was immediately admitted to the operation room and had a surgical operation that lasted for three hours. I was wounded with a bullet similar to a dum dum bullet, although the front part of the bullet, which hit me, contained something like very sharp iron blades. As the bullet was fired from a distance of not more than two metres, it caused damage to my large intestine. However, I survived but stayed in the hospital for 16 days. Now, my wound is healing.

I am not a wanted man or an activist in any Palestinian faction. It should be mentioned that a neighbour of mine called Samer al-Ghoul, lived at a distance of about 100 metres north of my house. He is fat like me and we are somewhat identical to each other. It seemed that members of that Israeli Special Forces had arrived to the area to assassinate Samer al-Ghoul, but they entered the wrong house. Having contrived their will to murder, they almost killed me. I must emphasise that I had not received any warning before the soldiers fired at me. Despite such a grave error, the Israeli occupying soldiers continued to raid the refugee camp, especially over night, claiming to be searching for Palestinian activists.

On 3 November 2008, the largest raid on al-Far'a refugee camp took place. At about 3:00 am, a huge Israeli force, including approximately 80 jeeps and an armed personnel carrier, raided the refugee camp. Everything took place quietly, although we woke up when the Israeli forces were declaring, through loudspeakers, that a curfew was imposed on the refugee camp. Troops started to search houses and forced citizens out of their houses or detained them in one room. The troops searched one house and then moved to another until they had searched the majority of houses in the refugee camp.

At about 5:30 am, soldiers reached my house, and detained us in one room while approximately seven or eight soldiers, who were in the complete military uniform and carried modern, black weapons, searched my house. About 20 minutes later, they left without a question, only examining my ID card. At about 2:00 pm on the same day, they raided and searched my house again. At about 3:00 pm, another group, including approximately 16 soldiers, raided my house for the third time. This time however, they forced me and my family out of the house and only then entered the house.

They had a large, brown dog with an iron muzzle on its mouth. This last search operation lasted for about half an hour, after which they left and did not come back. The curfew was imposed on al-Far'a refugee camp until 10:00 pm that night. Although no citizens were arrested, confrontations took place between Israeli troops and a number of youths, who threw stones. Consequently, troops opened fire and fired rubber-coated steel bullets as well as tear gas grenades, injuring eight citizens. Take into account that the Israeli troops had already seized full control of the refugee camp, thereby controlling confrontations with the Palestinian youths. It should also be noted that school classes were disrupted and employees could not go to their workplaces and no one could enter or leave the refugee camp. Finally, I would like to state that we are afraid the last raid may be repeated as the Israeli army did not arrest any of those they had claimed to have come for, because they were allegedly wanted.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4486/2008
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 8 November 2008
  • Name: ‘Umar Husni Husein Subuh
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