Affidavit No. 5016/2009

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, Nitham Khalil Salem al-„Azazma, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 900413303, born on 8 March 1976, a worker and a resident of Abu-Sneineh neighbourhood, Hebron city, Hebron governorate, would like to declare the following:

At around 5:00 pm on Saturday, 1 August 2009, I was walking south along al-Shuhada‟ Street, towards my house in Abu-Sneineh neighbourhood. I was carrying some vegetables, fruits and clothes. When I reached the stairs near the Qurtuba Girls Elementary School, opposite Beit Hadass settlement outpost, a young Israeli settler impeded my access. He was about 22 years of age, tall and thin, with a brown complexion. He had long hair tied in a pony-tail and wore earrings. When he pushed me backwards, I saw approximately ten other young settlers (between 19 and 24 years of age). They assaulted and threw stones at me. They also beat me with iron bars, measuring 20–60 centimetres. Another ten settlers were present in the area, but did not attack me.

Settlers attempted to push me to the ground so that they could continue beating me. I tried to avoid their beating and confronted them. I was attacked for a period of 10–15 minutes. A soldier, who was positioned in the area, attempted to defend me, but he could not due to the large number of settlers. The young settler who had first obstructed my access hit me with a chair the soldier had been using, but I pushed it away with my left hand. As army and police patrols as arrived in the area, the settlers stopped attacking me. While I was being beaten, settlers shouted obscenities at me. Settlers dispersed when the army and the police arrived, but the police officers did not attempt to arrest or pursue any of the settlers.

I sustained contusions and scratches on my face, arms and stomach. Neither the soldiers nor the police officers offered me any medical aid.
“If you want to pass, I can accompany you.” A soldier told me.
“Go to the hospital and have a medical report completed. Then, come tomorrow and file a complaint.” A police officer said.
Because I was dizzy and suffered pain in various parts of my body, I called my friends for help. After they arrived, my friends transported me to the Hebron Governmental Hospital („Alia). I arrived at the hospital at approximately 6:30 pm. I had various medical tests completed and was given medication. I left half an hour later. Except for one bag of clothes, I had lost all other bags when the settlers attacked me.

After I left the hospital, I made my way home through the old market. As I walked through, local residents told me that settlers had damaged a Subaru car belonging to Ya‟qoub al-Natsha (Abu-Wahid). A fieldworker from an Israeli human rights centre was also present in the market, and he told me he had managed to take photographs of the settlers. When he showed me the pictures, I realised that some of those who had damaged the car were the same settlers who had assaulted me.

In the evening of the same day, I went to the Israeli police station near the settlement of Kiryat Arba‟ to file a complaint against the settlers. At 9:00 pm, I arrived at the station and made a statement. A police officer told me to come back the next morning.

I returned to the station today. The police officer took an official statement and I lodged a complaint about the attack. The interrogator showed me pictures of settlers. Of these, I identified two settlers who had assaulted me.
An Israeli soldier and police officer are usually positioned in the area where I was attacked. However, the police officer was absent on the day I was assaulted. Only the soldier, whose powers to confront settler attacks are limited, was present.

I am married and a father of three children, the eldest of whom is three years old. Due to the attack and pains I have suffered, I did not go to my workplace today. I believe that I will not be able to work for several other days.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5016/2009
  • Field researcher: Hisham Sharabati
  • Affidavit Date: 2 August 2009
  • Name: Nitham Khalil Salem al-„Azazma
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