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Affidavit No. 1724/2004

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall besubjected to penal action, I the undersigned, 'Abd-al-Hamid Yousef 'Abdallah 'Asi, holder ofID # 991130758, born 7 March 1960, the principal of Beit 'Our al-Tira Basic Co-Ed Schooland a resident of Beit Liqiya, Ramallah Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I have been principal of Beit 'Our al-Tira Basic Co-Ed School since 2000, and in attendanceare 320 male and female students from the villages of Beit 'Our and al-Tira, as well as 15teachers. The school was established in the 1930s, and it is located on the west edge of thetown. A settlement called Beit Horon was established nearby the town. Over time, thesettlement expanded at the expense of Beitouniya lands west of Ramallah. Its expansionwas towards Beit ‘Our town lands. This expansion was parallel to the main street in thevillage, which was used for 15 years as a main street linking Jerusalem with Tel Aviv. Afterthat, a highway was constructed parallel to Beit 'Our street, which the settlers of Beit Horonand the residents of Beit 'Our used. It is the only street that the students can reach thevillage school through the eastern gate.

It is worth mentioning that the highway that was constructed to link Jerusalem with Tel Aviv,and which is parallel to Beit 'Our’s main street, has separated Beit 'Our from Al-Tira. So Beit'Our lies on the east of the road and al-Tira on the west, and every village has its ownentrance. However, the two entrances are located at the two sides of the highway, which atthat time compelled students from al-Tira to cross that street in order to reach to their schooland enter through the west gate, which is a few metres from the highway. Since the outbreakof the second Intifada in September 2000, the Israeli occupation authorities closed all theentrances of the Palestinian villages, including Beit 'Our and al-Tira. Moreover, theyprevented the Beit 'Our residents from using their vehicles on the village street parallel to thesettlement. They were only allowed to cross it on foot.

This means that the students have to go to and come to school everyday on foot for adistance of about two kilometres. As for the students from al-Tira village, they were deniedaccess to the school through the west from the highand they had to enter through a tunnelunder the highway. Similarly, the village citizens have to go through that tunnel if they wantto move between the two villages. In winter, students and teachers tremble from the cold ontheir way to school, especially when it rains and their clothes become wet. In summer,problems increase with the hot weather and sun, especially since the students of the schoolare of the age group 6-14 years.

It is doubtless that the students’ achievement has deteriorated since 2001. In the morning,they think about how they can reach the school, and at noon, they think about which waythey will return home. The Israeli authorities did not stop at that but have also intentionallyprevented us from developing the school building. We are prohibited from adding any newclassrooms. Moreover, we were prevented from developing the school sanitary unitsespecially that their present situation is very bad. Despite building the new floor, we were notallowed to complete it.

I also would like to mention that the school has a northern gate for the entry of vehicles, andit is the nearest gate to the settlement gate. However, it is worthless because the Israeliauthorities issued a resolution prohibiting citizens from driving their cars on the main street ofthe village, and so we cannot bring any school supplies or needs by car. Last week, amilitary leader called Fares came to explain to us the route of the Separation Wall in Beit'Our village. When he showed us the Separation Wall plan on the map, we discovered that itwill be very close to the school’s wall from the east and the south, and that it will be made ofconcrete and reach eight meters high. This means that the east and south gates will beclosed. Moreover, the lands around the school will be confiscated, which means that thisschool will have no ability to develop and expand. Moreover, Beit 'Our street will beconfiscated and it will for the settlement. It will be substituted by a road that will soon beconstructed in the shape of a rainbow, and will take hundreds of dunums from Beit 'Our landto be included with the settlement lands.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, on 15 March 2004

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 1724/2004
  • Field researcher: Manaf Abbas
  • Affidavit Date: 15 March 2004
  • Name: Abd-al-Hamid Yousef 'Abdallah 'Asi
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