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Affidavit No. 4525/2008

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, Shadi Jalal Muhammad Nawahda, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 921524807, born on 20 July 1983, a worker and a resident of the town of al-Yamoun, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

At about 11:20 pm on Monday, 15 December 2008, I was present in front of Bab al-Hara grocery store, located near the Municipality Building opposite the Girls Secondary School in the centre of the town of al-Yamoun, west of Jenin City. I work at this grocery store. Rami Mahmoud Salim Sa'id and Muhammad Yousef Salim Sa'id, both residents of al-Yamoun, were with me. Everything was normal and quiet.

As it was late, very few people were going by. We were about to close the grocery store. However, I was surprised to see a white Mercedes 412. It was a 2003 model with a rear door, Palestinian registration number plates, and no side doors. The van came from the area west of the town's centre, which means that it arrived from the entrance located between the villages of al-Yamoun and Sila al-Harithiyya in the governorate of Jenin. The van was travelling at a high speed, but then suddenly stopped, producing a loud sound. It stopped in the middle of the street, almost ten metres away from me.

Meanwhile, I saw Jihad Ahmad Amin Nawahda, who is about 20-years-old. We knew him, as he was a resident of al-Yamoun. He was a civilian and did not carry a weapon. As far as I knew, he had been detained by Palestinian security agencies for three months; that is since October 2008. He was arrested on the charge that he was an activist for Islamic Jihad. I reiterate that he was not armed. When the Mercedes arrived, Jihad was walking along the street opposite me. He walked from east to west opposite the front part of the Mercedes. I continued to watch: Jihad passed by the Mercedes van and was at an approximate distance of ten metres from it. He was walking naturally.

Meanwhile, the rear door of the Mercedes van suddenly opened. I saw an Israeli military soldier step down. He wore a dark green military uniform, which we could recognise well, as well as a helmet on his head. He also carried a short M-16 rifle. As Palestinians, we can distinguish different kinds of weapons because we constantly see them on Israeli soldiers. The soldier pointed his weapon at me and the previously mentioned guys who were with me, and started to approach us step by step.

Meanwhile, he opened fire indiscriminately and sporadically towards us, forcing us to lie flat on the ground. At that point, I realised that the Mercedes van carried members of an Israeli force. Immediately after the soldier stepped down from the vehicle, I saw two persons in civilian clothing. I could see them under the lights from the street lamp posts as well as lamps in the area surrounding the Municipality Building. Both were wearing jeans and one of them wore a white shirt and the other one a black shirt. They were also bearded and carried short M-16 rifles. They stepped down from the vehicle and stood directly behind the soldier. Having taken positions on the ground, they opened fire towards Jihad Nawahda, who was approximately ten metres away from them.

As a result, Jihad sustained bullet wounds in his back and body. They opened fire without any prior warning. In the midst of intensive gunfire towards Jihad and towards us, I heard a person shout in Hebrew, "Come! Come!" The shouts stopped, but they continued firing for what was not more than ten seconds. Then, the gunfire towards us and Jihad ceased. Jihad fell to the ground. I continued to watch Jihad and the armed civilians – members of the Israeli Special Forces. They approached Jihad, dragged him on the ground, and put him inside the Mercedes van.
The Israeli soldier still stood  near us and pointed his rifle towards us. I watched the incident stealthily from between the soldier's legs.

Later, the members of the Israeli Special Forces climbed in the van from the rear door. When the van turned around in front of the grocery store, the Israeli soldier also climbed in. Then, the van sped off towards the area from which it had arrived. An Israeli military force did not come to the area. The whole incident took place in one
minute, at most. It was shocking for me.

Due to the intensive gunfire opened upon him, Jihad Nawahda was martyred immediately. After the Israeli force had left, we went to the site where Jihad Nawahada had fallen. I saw a large spot of blood as well as marks of blood over a distance of ten metres where members of the Israeli Special Forces dragged him to the van. Dozens of citizens also gathered after the incident.

At 02:00 am on the following day, Tuesday 16 December 2008, Jihad Nawahda was handed over to the Palestinian District Coordination Office and then to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Now, he is in the mortuary room at Jenin Public Hospital. He will be buried in our home town of al-Yamoun in the governorate of Jenin.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4525/2008
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 16 December 2008
  • Name: Shadi Jalal Muhammad Nawahda
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