Affidavit No. 5055/2009

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, Maher Ghazi Mousa al-Za‟anin, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 920641412, born on 22 April 1972, a car dealer and a resident of al-Quds Street, Beit Hanoun town, Northern Gaza governorate, would like to declare the following:

My name is Maher Ghazi Mousa al-Za‟anin. I am 37-year-s old, married to two wives, and the father of seven sons and six daughters. My eldest son was called Ghazi (13) and the youngest Mahmoud (2). I work as a car dealer and live along al-Quds Street near Beit Hanoun Governmental Hospital in the governorate of Northern Gaza.

At around 2:00 pm on Friday, 4 September 2009, I drove my car (beige Peugeot 504 Pickup) to my agricultural land. I took my children Ahmad (8), „Abdallah (4), Marah (4), Muhammad (10), and Ghazi (13), as well as my friends Muhammad Abu-Dayya and Muhammad Isbeih and their four children. Our intention was to avoid the hot weather during the day of Ramadan. Located at a distance of 500 metres from Gaza‟s northeastern border with Israel, the area of my land is 25 dunums. My family and I normally go to the land to spend some time there.

At a distance of 200 metres south of my land, we stepped out of the car and walked so that Israeli troops positioned behind the border would not open fire or think that we were members of the Palestinian resistance. We all got out of the car and proceeded on foot towards the land. As we walked, the children played together, and I pointed out the area of my land and the surrounding lands to my friends.

Having walked for 100 metres north, I saw a green Israeli Hummer jeep leave the border and head towards us at a high speed. We were all scared. We walked slowly back to the car so that we could leave before the jeep could approach and hurt anyone. At a distance of 450 metres from us, Israeli occupying soldiers opened fire on us. We ran towards the car, seeking protection from the bullets being fired. We all climbed into the car. I tried to start it, but I could not. Then, the soldiers stopped shooting.

“Dad! My brother Ghazi has been hit.” My son Ahmad told me.
I got out of the car and saw my son Ghazi lying on the ground at a distance of about 100 metres away. He had been running ahead of us because he was frightened of the shooting from the Israeli soldiers. I hurried to see Ghazi and checked him. He had sustained a bullet wound in the back of his head. I saw a hole where blood was flowing heavily.

“Ah, ah, ah...” He moaned.
Muhammad Isbeih arrived and carried my son Ghazi to the car. I drove to the hospital. At that time, the occupying soldiers opened fire towards us. Several bullets hit the hood of the car. We arrived at Beit Hanoun Governmental Hospital. Doctors attended to Ghazi. They decided to transfer him to al-Shifa‟ Hospital in Gaza due to his critical condition.

At around 3:15 pm, an ambulance transported Ghazi to al-Shifa‟ Hospital. As soon as we arrived, doctors transferred my son to the intensive care unit due to the seriousness of his condition. Ghazi stayed in the intensive care unit until 2:00 am the next day. Then, doctors came out and confirmed to me that he had died of the injuries he sustained. He had been hit by bullet in the back of head, which had been fired from a short distance.

I do not know why the Israeli army opened fire on us and killed Ghazi in cold blood and did not show mercy on his childhood. We were civilians and the children were in our company. We had been walking in an ordinary manner to visit our land.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5055/2009
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 7 September 2009
  • Name: Maher Ghazi Mousa al-Za‟anin
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