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Affidavit No. 4823/2009

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, Ruqayya ‘Ali Hamdan Hathalin, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 946488822, born on 3 January 1986, a housewife, and a resident of Um al-Kheir village, Yatta, Hebron Governorate, would like to declare the following:

In the morning of Friday, 10 April 2009, four other women and I took our sheep and left to the south-western area of our village, called Um al-Kheir. We were at distance of three kilometres away from the village, where a cattle farm belonging to the settlement of Ma’on is located. Some women were tending sheep and others were harvesting Gundelia – a wild plant. My mother-inlaw, Khadra Suleiman al-Hathalin, my sister-in-law Amna Salem ‘Eid al-Hathalin, and a number of children, including my husband’s brother Tareq, who is about 13 years old, his cousin Mousa Suleiman al-Hathalin, who is about 12 years old, and ‘Umar Suleiman al-Hathalin who is about 10 years old, were in my company. We were in an area located approximately 500 metres away from the Ma’on settlement, and stayed there for almost one hour.

At about 9:00 am, six Israeli settlers came out of the settlement and started to chase shepherds and women, who were present in the area. When my sister-in-law Amna and I were grazing sheep and collecting Gundelia, two settlers approached us. Carrying sticks and pistols on their waists, the settlers began to shout at us in Hebrew, which we do not understand. When the settlers were at a distance of 30 metres away from us, we ran away. My sister-in-law managed to flee. However, I could not run as fast as her because I was eight months pregnant. The two settlers approached me. One of them was masked and about 175 centimetres tall. He hit me with his stick on my right arm. The other settler, who was also masked and as tall as the other one, threw a stone at my left leg. Furthermore, he pushed me and I fell on cactus plants, landing on my right arm. I screamed of pain. After they left me, the two settlers pursued shepherds, women, and children in the area. Later, Amna came back and helped me get up. I rode a donkey to the village. There, a Palestinian ambulance transported me to the Hebron Governmental Hospital, the so-called ‘Alia Hospital.

My relatives reported the incident to the Israeli Coexistence Movement. After activists from the Movement intervened, an Israeli ambulance and a Police force arrived in the village. Before the Palestinian ambulance eventually arrived, Israeli medics had offered me first medical aid and had examined my health condition. I left our village at around 11:00 am. I stayed at the Hebron Governmental Hospital for almost two hours, during which I was x-rayed, diagnosed, and given medication. My arm was swollen and hurting for several days.

On the day the settlers attacked me, none of us, including women and children in the area, came even close to the settlement. The children, who were in our company, eventually returned the sheep to the village.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4823/2009
  • Field researcher: Hisham Sharabati
  • Affidavit Date: 18 April 2009
  • Name: Ruqayya ‘Ali Hamdan Hathalin
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