Affidavit No. 4499/2008

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, Ahmad 'Isa Mahmoud al-Ghoul, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 935627851, born on 24 December 1960, a taxi driver and a resident of Jabal Abu-Their neighbourhood, Jenin city, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a resident of Jenin city, in the northern West Bank. I work as a taxi driver at a taxi office. I continuously suffer from the Israeli military checkpoints set up between Palestinian cities, and which separate cities and villages.
When a citizen asks me to transport him to cities located in the centre or south of the West Bank, such as the cities of Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem, I immediately start calling other drivers to know about the situation of  roads and to find out whether there are any flying checkpoints. I also ask about the situation of permanent checkpoints. Based on this information, I determine the roads I will travel on. Everything is associated with these Israeli military checkpoints. If they are closed, this means that myself and other Palestinian citizens will be deprived from the ability to move from the area of Jenin to other cities and villages.

In this context, I should note that the Israeli occupation sets up most flying checkpoints at entrances and roads leading to the city of Jenin. Almost everyday, I encounter a checkpoint or several checkpoints, especially along the  main Jenin-Nablus road, near the junction to the town of 'Arraba, on the junctions to the villages of Qabatiya, Sanour and Mseilliya; along Jenin-Toubas road, and in other areas.

Sometimes, search measures implemented by Israeli troops are boring and long; troops search vehicles and examine citizens' IDs, compelling us to wait for at least half an hour to an hour at these checkpoints. At other times, search measures are swift, but aim to impede citizens' access to their destinations. The major predicament
is permanent checkpoints which separate Palestinian cities and villages. In the area of Jenin, we mostly suffer from the ‘Inab checkpoint set up east of the city of Toulkarem. Infamous of difficult search measures, this checkpoint is always crowded.

Soldiers search everything, including food supplies which citizens carry. If the Israeli army decides to close that checkpoint, the road connecting the cities of Jenin and Toulkarem to Nablus and Ramallah will be closed too. In addition, the checkpoint set up at the entrance to the settlement of Shavei Shomron on the main Jenin-Nablus road is permanent and isolates the area of Jenin from the area of Nablus and the rest of the West Bank. If closed along with 'Inab checkpoint, the cities of Jenin and Toulkarem as well as surrounding villages will be isolated from the rest of the West Bank. I should note here that we suffer a lot when we cross the said Israeli military checkpoints. Everyday, it takes me an hour or an hour and a half to cross 'Inab checkpoint in order to access the cities of Nablus and Ramallah. We have to submit to search operations by Israeli troops positioned at these checkpoints.

Take into consideration that everything at the Israeli military checkpoints is subject to the moods of the soldiers. There is no standardised or typical search mechanism. Sometimes, searches are thorough. At other times, they are less thorough. These checkpoints have become a part of my daily life. Also, I am now used to getting out of my taxi at checkpoints, to uplifting my upper clothes, and to turning around in front of soldiers, whose weapons are pointed at every person who wants to cross the checkpoint. I am also used to having to present my ID card for examination and to being subjected to vehicle searches. All this is now a component of my life. I do not have the faintest feeling that this suffering is on the way to vanish. On the contrary, it is aggravating.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4499/2008
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 26 November 2008
  • Name: Ahmad 'Isa Mahmoud al-Ghoul
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