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Affidavit No. 5011/2009

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, Sabri Ibrahim Qasem Qabaha, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 944897644, born on 7 October 1961, a merchant and a resident of Barta‟a village, Jenin governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 10 July 2009, my brother Ramzi Ibrahim Qabaha (28 years old), his wife Wafa‟ Nash‟at Qabaha (21 years old), my brother Ramzi‟s father and mother-in-law, and I left our village of Barta‟a, which is isolated behind the Separation Wall, in the district of Jenin. We intended to attend the graduation ceremony of my sister-in-law at the Arab American University.

The residents of our village, a population of approximately 4,500, access our village through Barta‟a gate, which is located along the Separation Wall. The wall has completely isolated the village. An Israeli security corporation manages Barta‟a gate. The corporation‟s employees apply the harshest and most advanced search techniques to anybody who wishes to cross the gate. Security officers operate metal detectors; devices for the examination of goods and materials; a room for body scans and a room for physical, semi-strip searches.

Having attended the graduation ceremony, we started the journey back to our village. At 8:30 pm, we arrived at Barta‟a gate. We had some sweets from the graduation ceremony. We went through the phases of examination and searches. After passing the room with the body scan, Palestinians must leave room number one to collect our belongings and have our ID cards and permits examined. In order to cross the metal access gate installed in the wall, we must have an access permit. Otherwise, we are required to undergo a physical strip search in room number two.

We were all together. After I entered the body scan room, an employee told me on the loudspeaker to go to room number one. My brother‟s mother-in-law was also asked to leave for the same room. Suddenly, I heard my brother Ramzi, his wife, and some security employees yelling. The security employees had demanded that Ramzi‟s wife enter the body scan room once again, causing my brother to shout. Consequently, six security employees severely beat Ramzi with their fists and rifle butts. They severely beat my brother for five minutes, as his wife screamed. Then, they tied his hands and feet and detained him in a solitary room.

I tried to intervene and protect my brother and his wife. I asked what happened shouting “what‟s wrong?” I continued to shout until five security employees, who were armed with modern black weapons and wore blue uniforms, pushed me back. Then, another security officer, whom we knew as Antonio, grabbed my arms and pulled them behind my back (he was of medium height, of white complexion, about 30 years old, and spoke Hebrew only). Another officer (who was short, about 25 years old, of white complexion, and thin) slapped me on my left cheek and kicked my left leg. As a result, I lost my balance and fell on the ground. My right leg hit a cement chair, sustaining severe contusions. I sat on the ground and could no longer stand up. Pointing their weapons at us, four security officers detained me and Nash‟at „Abd-al-Qader Qabaha, my brother‟s father-in-law, until 12:00 am. They did not even allow us to relieve ourselves In the meantime, Ramzi‟s wife had to enter the body scan room once more and was not released until 11:00 pm that night. Later on, we left for Barta‟a.

My brother Ramzi was detained until 2:30 am on the next day, 11 July 2009. Israeli police then relocated him to the settlement of Ari‟el. He is still detained until this moment. We do not have any information about him.

The next morning, I went to see a physician in the town of Baqa al-Gharbiyya inside the Green Line and received medical treatment for my leg. I have a medical report on my health condition, which has deteriorated since the security officers beat me This type of incident takes place every day with all residents of the village of Barta‟a. We are subjected to forced physical searches. Most provocative is the body searches of the girls and women, which take place inside the body search room. I should also note that when security officers detained us at the Wall gate, an Israeli army force arrived, but never intervened.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5011/2009
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 14 July 2009
  • Name: Sabri Ibrahim Qasem Qabaha
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