Affidavit No. 4523/2008

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, Na'im Daoud ‘Abd-al-Salam 'Amer, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 992405738, born on 4 June 1965, a former member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, employed at the Palestinian Preventive Security agency, and a resident of Kufr Qallil village, Nablus Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 1 December 2008, 8:30 pm, I was at my workplace at the Palestinian Preventive Security offices in the city of Nablus. A Preventive Security officer ordered me to drive a van (a white Hyundai with red plate numbers) to pick up a number of civil and military staff members of the Preventive Security from their houses from neighbourhoods around the city of Nablus and take them to the offices as usual.

Ten minutes after leaving the office I received a telephone call from Muhammad Kamal Abu-Thra', who is 27-years- old. I was acquainted with Muhammad, as he used to sleep overnight at the Preventive Security offices. Since he knew that I was driving the van, he asked where I was and requested that I travel to Balata refugee camp to take him to the Preventive Security offices, where he had been spending the night for about a year. During the day, however, he would be out of the office. Hewas a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and was wanted by the Israeli army.

However, according to an agreement signed by the Palestinian Authority and Israel regarding a number of wanted Palestinian individuals, Muhammad was granted a partial pardon by the Israeli authorities. I told Muhammad that I was transporting other employees and added, "After I am done, I will come to pick you up at the place you designate." "I will go to the house of ‘Ali Abu-Thra's aunt in [Balata] refugee camp," he said. The house was located along al-Quds Street west of Balata refugee camp.

About an hour later, I drove to pick up Muhammad. My watch read 9:30 pm. When I was close to the designated house, about one kilometre away, I dialled Muhammad's cellular telephone number, but disconnected the call so that he would know I was about to arrive. In turn, he called and asked where I was. "When you arrive at al-Quds Street, which overlooks Balata refugee camp, near Sa’d al-Saqqa's grocery store along a lane leading to the refugee camp from the eastern area, give me a call.

Within moments, I will be right there," Muhammad instructed me. I reached al-Quds Street, turned the van around, parked exactly opposite the lane, and waited for Muhammad.

While I was turning the van, I saw five people in civilian clothing; some wore blue sports suits and others were in ordinary civilian clothes. I did not pay much attention.

They were approximately five metres south-west of the aforementioned lane, near the place where I parked the van. When I stopped, they were about three metres behind the van. Four of the people stood in line beside one another, while the other person was one or two metres behind them. The latter wore a blue sports suit with a cap on his head and was making a telephone call. "Welcome!" he shouted as I turned the van. "Hello, everyone." I replied.

Just moments after I had parked the van, Muhammad arrived. He opened the passenger door of the van. At the point when one of his legs was in the van and the other outside on the ground, I saw the person who was talking on the mobile telephone withdraw to the south-western area of the street. "For God's sake, Na'im, drive the van quickly and don't say anything," Muhammad shouted at me.

Muhammad looked towards the south-eastern area. His back leaned towards me and one of his legs was on the ground outside the van. At that time, three people approached Muhammad and pointed their pistols at him. A fourth person approached and pointed his pistol at my head from the door window. He demanded that I don’t move. Without any warning, one of the people who encircled Muhammad bent over him, pointed his pistol at his waist, and fired four shots at him. Muhammad yelled, "My leg. My leg!”

I saw Muhammad push the person who opened fire on him with his right foot. He continued to yell. I was astonished at what happened and wondered who these people were. As I was in shock and panicked, I also shouted. Then I realised why Muhammad had told me to drive immediately. Of course, he must have seen them
carrying pistols and aiming them at him before I could see it. About a minute later, a Black Suzuki pickup with a closed black cabin arrived and parked beside my van. I did not see the vehicle's plate numbers. Immediately, I saw four people step down from the pickup. They were in civilian clothes and carried pistols. When they approached me, one of them stood beside the window and pointed his pistol at my head. "Who shot Muhammad and is still bending over him?" he asked in Hebrew.

"Not that person." Another replied. I understood what they said as I have a modest knowledge of Hebrew. Also, three soldiers in military uniform stepped down from the black cabin of the pickup. They carried short, telescoped M-16 rifles. As I was a security officer, I knew the types of weapons they carried. A soldier opened the door, grabbed my upper clothes, and forced me out of the van. The other soldiers walked along with him. He forced me to walk for several metres and enter Sa'd al-Saqqa's grocery store. Then I realised that these people opened fire on Muhammad and remained near him after I stepped down from the van. I also realised that the people who had been standing along the street when I first arrived were members of the Israeli Special Forces.

About two minutes after I entered the grocery store, a boy shouted that the army had withdrawn and that they had taken a young man with them from the white van. They forced him to walk for two or three metres and placed him in the cabin of their black Suzuki pickup. Then, I went out of the grocery store and checked my van. Muhammad was not there. I realised that the person whom the Israeli troops had taken was Muhammad. I immediately called the Preventive Security headquarters and reported what happened.

Approximately two hours later, I learned that Muhammad had died at an Israeli hospital from the injuries he sustained. I should note that neither myself nor Muhammad were armed. In the midst of all of the confusion, I did not verify the features of the Israeli soldiers or Special Forces troops. From first sight, however, I would estimate that they were between 22 and 28 years of age. I should confirm once more that they opened fire without any warning. Furthermore, they did not request anything from us nor did they search us. From the first moment until the last, the whole operation lasted for approximately four minutes.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4523/2008
  • Field researcher: Yousef Qawareiq
  • Affidavit Date: 2 December 2008
  • Name: Na'im Daoud ‘Abd-al-Salam 'Amer
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