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Affidavit No. 5230/2010

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, Salim Jamal Hasan Nu‟man, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 901618611, born on 10 June 1977, a fisherman, and a resident of al-Shate‟ refugee camp, Gaza governorate, would like to declare the following:

My name is Salim Jamal Hasan Nu‟man. I am 32 years old, married, and father of three children. I work as a fisherman on a boat (Hasaka), which my brother, Mu'men and I jointly own. It is grey, made of fiberglass, bears the number 302, and is powered by a benzene engine. Bearing registration number 15025, the boat measures 6.55 metres in length and 1.95 metres in width and is equipped with all the necessary fishing devices and supplies. The equipment for the boat cost approximately USD 12,000. I live in the area of al-Balakhiyya in al-Shate‟ refugee camp, west of Gaza city.

At around 9:20 pm on Saturday, 16 January 2010, my fellow fishermen, Muhammad Taysir al-Qarm, „Awad and „Awwad al-Sa‟idi, and I were on our way back from a fishing trip, which we had started at 11:00 am on the same day. We had sailed from Gaza port to Rafah port, south of Gaza Strip. Thank God, we managed to catch a large quantity of fish. We planned to sell it to fish traders in Gaza city and make a profit. Muhammad and I were on board one of the Hasakas and my colleagues „Awwad and „Awad were on another. Sailing at a distance of approximately 200 metres off the beach, we sailed back from Rafah port to Gaza port.

Suddenly, however, I saw about eight small Israeli boats approach at great speed and surround us. Masked soldiers from the Israeli navy were on board these boats. They carried machine-guns and pointed them at us. Through megaphones, they ordered us to stop the engines of the boats and raise our arms up. They also fired rubber-coated steel bullets towards us, leaving me and „Awad with injuries. We felt afraid and confused.

Then, a number of soldiers climbed on board our Hasakas and tied them with ropes to their boats. Setting off at a great speed, the Israeli boats pulled our Hasakas behind them. At this time, Muhammad fell into the water. My colleagues and I begged the Israeli soldiers on the boats to return and save Muhammad. The water was so cold and the area where he had fallen was far from the beach. The boats stopped and the soldiers ordered Muhammad to swim towards the boats, which had stopped at a distance of almost one kilometre away from him. When he arrived, Muhammad was exhausted and felt severe cold. The Israeli soldiers helped him climb on board a boat.

The boats continued to sail, before stopping at a distance of about 15 metres away from the Super Dvora, a huge Israeli military boat that is used to take position at sea to oversee the beaches of the Gaza Strip. The occupying soldiers ordered us to take off our clothes, jump into the water, and swim towards the Super Dvora, which we did. We climbed onto the Super Dvora and soldiers tied our hands and feet and blindfolded us. Then, the Super Dvora set off at great speed and sailed for about half an hour. I felt it sailing northwards, away from the Egyptian territorial waters in the south, before stopping.

A soldier removed the blindfold on my eyes and forced me to walk onto a pier at the Ashdod port. Soldiers took my colleagues and I to a large room (a barracks), where soldiers blindfolded and detained us for three hours. We felt severe cold because we were in our underwear. Later, a soldier arrived and took me to a room, where he removed my blindfold. I found myself in a room with a doctor who asked if I suffered from any diseases. Having conducted some external checks on my body, he gave me green trousers and a shirt and told me to put them on. Then, soldiers took me back to the barracks. Blindfolded and handcuffed, soldiers left us inside without food or beverages until 1:00 pm the next day.

At that time, a soldier came, took me to a neighbouring room, and removed the blindfold on my eyes. I found myself inside a room with three persons who were wearing civilian clothes. They sat at a desk with a laptop on it. One of them told me in Arabic that they were Israeli intelligence officers and that I was present at the Ashdod port. He inquired about what my colleagues and I were doing when we were arrested.

“We were at sea in an area where fishing is permitted.” I answered. “We were on our way back from Rafah port to Gaza port after a fishing trip.” I went on.

The officer then inquired about the place of Shalit, the imprisoned soldier. I said I did not know where he was and that Israel, including all its agencies, had not figured out his location. I also added that I was surprised with this question. However, the intelligence officer told me that we were sailing on waters where fishing was forbidden. Furthermore, he said he would seize the Hasakas, the fishing equipment and the quantity of fish we had caught during our trip from Gaza to Rafah.

Later, soldiers took me back to the barracks, where I waited for four hours with my colleagues. Then, a number of soldiers came in, replaced our plastic handcuffs with iron ones, and led us to a bus, which drove off for about two hours and before stopping at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing. There, soldiers demanded that we return to our homes, which we did. It was around 8:00 pm on Sunday, 17 January 2010.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5230/2010
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 18 January 2010
  • Name: Salim Jamal Hasan Nu‟man
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