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Affidavit No. 7846/2012


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, ‘Ayid Salman Warrad Zawahri, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 938608254, born on 23 January 1986, a livestock breeder, and a resident of the al-Maleh area, Toubas governorate, would like to declare the following:

I live in the al-Maleh area, located at a distance of about 12 kilometres east of Toubas City in the Northern Jordan Valley. My family and I live in a tent made of burlap and wood. There are eight of us, including five children. To make a living, I raise sheep. The same is true for all the residents of the al-Maleh area. Also living in tents, they all tend livestock to make a living. Almost 38 families reside in this area. The total population of al-Maleh is approximately 170 people.

At around 9:30 am on Tuesday, 6 November 2012, an Israeli military force, including about five military jeeps, arrived at the al-Maleh area. Three white jeeps belonging to the Planning and Zoning Department of the Israeli Civil Administration accompanied the military force. These white jeeps are special and we in the al-Maleh area are familiar with them. They are present when the Israeli occupying army demolishes houses or distributes demolition notices to residents of the area, which occurs frequently.

That morning, Israeli officers dispersed around the area, while employees of the Planning and Zoning Department distributed notices to residents. Entitled Warning Concerning the Evacuation of a Closed Zone, the notices informed us that the area was to be evacuated under the pretext that the Israeli occupying army intended to carry out military training and exercises using live ammunition. The Israeli Planning and Zoning Department employees handed me a notice. An employee told me that my family and I had to leave the area from 10:00 am on Sunday, 11 November 2012, until 9:00 am on Monday, 12 November 2012, allegedly because military training exercises would be carried out in the area. He then threatened that my family and I would be forcibly evacuated by the Israeli army if we refused to leave. The same employees also demanded that I leave my home because they were going to open fire in the area of al-Maleh.

The Israeli Civil Administration officers distributed 12 of those notices in al-Maleh. They were addressed to all 170 residents of the area, including about 90 children and 36 women. A single notice was addressed to more than one family. For example, the notice served to ‘Eid Ahmad Faqir also included his family, as well as his two married sons and their families. The same can be said of all the evacuation notices handed to residents of the area. Some notices were addressed to two families or more. Accordingly, all residents of the al-Maleh area were included in these evacuation notices. In another incident, the notice given to Salman Rahil Najadah included his family, along with his two married sons and their families. So far, no one has evacuated the area, but we will do so tomorrow morning, Sunday 11 November 2012. The Israeli occupying army has already started to deploy tanks, armoured vehicles and armoured personnel carriers. It has also erected training targets, including cardboard models, metal barrels and old cars. The targets to be used in the military training exercises have been placed near residential areas in al-Maleh. All of this indicates that the Israeli army intends to carry out exercises using live ammunition. Therefore, the military training exercise will pose a grave danger to the lives of residents if they do not leave the area. It should be noted that the Israeli army will also erect a military barrier, denying access to the area.

This is the first time the al-Maleh area will see such a large-scale, extensive military training exercise. From time to time, however, military training exercises are conducted in restricted, relatively remote areas. I was also informed that the Israeli occupying army had distributed similar evacuation notices in other residential communities across the Northern Jordan Valley area, including al-Borj, al-Mita, ‘Ain al-Hilwa, Humsa, al-Ras al-Ahmar and Khirbet Ibziq. To carry out these military training exercises, the majority of residents of the Northern Jordan Valley would be forced to evacuate their places of residence. Should it actually be implemented, this training will be the largest military manoeuvre to be conducted in the Northern Jordan Valley area.

Finally, I would like to indicate that I will be living under harsh conditions when I leave my home, since I do not have anywhere else to live. This is also true for everyone obliged to evacuate the area.

 

This is my declaration, which I hereby sign, 10 November 2012

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 7846/2012
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 10 November 2012
  • Name: ‘Ayid Salman Warrad Zawahri
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