Affidavit No. 1647/2004

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, ‘Adel Mahmoud ‘Ali ‘Abahra, holder of ID # 933306664, born on 7 August 1961, resident of Yamoun in the suburbs of Jenin, work as an employee at Yamoun Municipality, would like to declare the following:

I am one of the residents of Yamoun, which lies to the west of Jenin and has a population of 17,000. My eight brothers, six sisters, elderly mother and I had relied on the produce of our agricultural land as a source of income. This land lies in Ben-‘Amer valley to the northern side of Yamoun and reaches up to 24 dunums where we used to grow wheat, barley and the like. Ever since we were born, we worked in our land, which lies on the Green Line that separates [Israel] and the West Bank.

In the past, we were not subjected to any harassment by the Israeli Army until the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada. When Ariel Sharon, who heads the current Israeli government, started talking about his intention of building a Separation Wall on the length of the Green Line to limit suicide attacks, according to his claims, we felt afraid and worried to the fate of our land. Our fears were manifested one day when we found the bulldozers and Israeli vehicles digging up our land, which we had inherited from our ancestors and our fathers. We tried several times to stand in the face of these machines, but the border police of the Israeli army were forcing us to leave under the threat of weapons and such. We had found out that a Separation Wall was erected in the area where our land is located and that more than 20 dunums out of 24 had been confiscated and is now behind the wall, i.e. annexed to [Israel]. This traumatized us and inflicted a dire financial situation upon us. Due to grief on the loss of her land, my elderly mother, Zlikha Saleh ‘Abahra, aged 70, developed diabetes.

Two weeks ago, my brothers and I headed towards our land, or the four dunums left of it, in order to cultivate it. The border police came to us and asked us the reason we are present here near the Separation Wall. We replied that we want to cultivate our land, but they prevented us by threatening us with weapons, therefore we had to leave the area.Our agricultural land used to generate a profit of approximately 2000 JD a year, on which we lived on all year long. Now, my brothers and I are deprived of this income; we are unemployed and have no other source of income. Then I had to work in the municipality of Yamoun, with a salary of NIS 1300 per month, which I divide among us in order to meet their basic needs.

I remember once while the Israeli bulldozers were digging our land, I went to the Jewish contractor in charge of the work, and I told him “this land is ours and do not dig it.” He replied sarcastically “Get out of here! You do not own any land. We are the true owners of the land.” He asked me to leave and threatened to summon the Israeli soldiers if we did not leave the land. Now after the finishing of the Separation Wall in that area, the land is no longer ours. Moreover, now that the construction of the Separation wall in that area has finished a street has been built on vast parts of it, as well as a metal fence along the Green Line. Our land is number 36 in plot number 7. In addition, 24 dunums of land, owned by my uncle Yousef Suleiman ‘Abahra were confiscated. This led to the deterioration of our financial and psychological state. Currently my brothers, sisters and

myself live with the hope that one day our land will return to us, but when will that day arrive? We have been waiting for the return of Palestine for a long time, but now we are waiting for the return of only 24 dunums of Palestine.

Signed on 17 February 2004

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 1647/2004
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 17 February 2004
  • Name: ‘Adel Mahmoud ‘Ali ‘Abahra
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