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Affidavit No. 7674/2012

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, Muhammad ‘Ayyash Mani’ Froukh, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 989545686, born on 10 March 1965, a construction worker, and a resident of the Shu’b Abu Tabikh area, Sa’ir town, Hebron governorate, would like to declare the following:

I live in Shu’b Abu Tabikh area southwest of Sa’ir town. I have a family of nine members. My eldest child is about 17 years old. My home is located about 400 metres east of the Settler Bypass Road # 60, which connects the cities of Hebron and Jerusalem.

At around 1:10 am on Tuesday, 28 August 2012, I went to bed. At around 1:50, I woke up after I heard the sound of strong knocks on the house door. I got up and looked through a window that looks to the north. Outside, I saw almost 30 young settlers and five Israeli soldiers in the yard of my cousin Zein al-Din Muhammad Mani’ Froukh, 48, north of my house. The soldiers were in the full official uniform. I saw settler spray painting Hebrew graffiti on the western wall of Zein al-Din’s house. Other settlers used small flashlights to light the wall. About five settlers also carried bottles with a capacity of about two litres each. Having finished spraying graffiti on Zein al-Din’s house wall, I saw five settlers heading east of Zein al-Din’s house. One settler carried a two-litre bottle. When they walked north, they were out of my sight. I saw about ten settlers surrounding a 2012 Hyundai iX35 car, which belonged to my cousin Mahdi Amin Muhammad Mani’ Froukh, 46. The car was parked south of Zein al-Din’s house. From a bottle, the settlers poured a material underneath the windshield on the Hyundai car hood. A settler lit a match and threw it on the Hyundai car hood, which caught fire quickly. Settlers then walked around Zein al-Din’s house wall and approached my 2001 Citroen Berlingo car, which had been parked north of my house. Using rocks, they broke the side window and threw two bottles inside in the car. A settler lit a match and tossed it into the car, which caught fire immediately. The settlers set fire to the Hyundai and my car in less than a minute.

At first, my family were panic stricken when the door had been banged hard. I tried to calm them down. Together with the soldiers, the settlers who had burnt Mahdi’s and my cars ran west towards the settler bypass road. However, I saw two settlers from among those who had gone east of Zein al-Din’s house, running southwest. While they were fleeing, a settler fired two bullets in the air from his pistol. I could see him as street lamp lit the area where he opened fire. Immediately thereafter, I heard my cousin Zein al-Din shouting to me.

“Get out. They are gone.” He said.

I quickly got out of the eastern door of my house and turned on a water tap. I pulled the water pipe in order to put out the fire on the two cars. However, the water supply was cut off. It appeared to me that the settlers had turned off the main water valve, which supplied Zein al-Din and my houses. After Zein al-Din’s family and my family went outside, we fetched water from the well and from the house to put out the fire on the Hyundai car. The fire was so huge on my car that it could not be extinguished with water. Zein told me that the settlers also set fire to his Mitsubishi L200 4x4 car, which had been parked northeast of his house. I could not see the car from my house. I realised that it was the settlers, who had headed east from the northern side of his house, who had burned the car. Zein extinguished the fire after we had put out the fire on the Hyundai car hood.

Citizens who had seen the fire on my car from a long distance gathered around our houses. We called the Hebron Municipality Fire Department. Before a fire truck arrived, we had already put out the fire on my car using fire extinguishers, which workers at a petrol station in Sa’ir had brought. Workers kept these extinguishers at the petrol station for emergency cases. We called the Palestinian police and reported the incident. A police patrol from the Sa’ir police station arrived. Policemen inspected the site and said they would report the incident to the Palestinian District Coordination Office (DCO).

At around 2:30 pm, an Israeli army force and police investigators arrived, surveyed the area, collected samples, and took photographs of the sites. They also took a bottle, from which the settlers had poured materials on the Hyundai car hood. Policemen also demanded that Mahdi (owner of the Hyundai car), Zein al-Din (my neighbour), my daughter Riham, 17, and I go to the Israeli police station west of the ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, to make statements about the incident. At 4:00 pm, after the Israeli police investigators had left the area, we went to the ‘Kiryat Arba’ police station. At 6:30 pm, we left the police station for our homes.

My car was completely destroyed by the fire. The other two cars sustained partial damage on their hoods. Relatives of mine, who speak fluent Hebrew, translated the graffiti sprayed on Zein al-Din’s house wall: “Greetings from Asher Falmar. Anniversary of his death. Revenge.” About a year ago, the aforesaid settler was killed in a traffic accident along Road # 60 opposite my house. Then, settlers accused Palestinians of causing the accident, in which the settler’s son was also killed.

 

This is my declaration, which I hereby sign, 29 August 2012 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 7674/2012
  • Field researcher: Hisham Sharabati
  • Affidavit Date: 29 August 2012
  • Name: Muhammad ‘Ayyash Mani’ Froukh
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