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Affidavit No. 1688/2004

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, Wa'el 'Abd-al-Rahman Muhammad Jundiyah, holder of ID # 994463636, born on 22 May 1973, resident of ‘Aydah Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, work as a laborer, would like to declare the following:

My brother Ibrahim, 22, had been arrested at the end of 2002. Since that time, he has been detained, without a court ruling regarding the charges against him, which state that he has been involved in preparing and planning for the martyr operation, which had been executed by Na'el Abu Hleil in Jerusalem in 2002 and that he is affiliated with Hamas. The lawyer Usama 'Oda is still pursuing this case and the courts have not issued a decision convicting Ibrahim.

Therefore, I was surprised on 27 February 2004 at 1:30 am when I heard knocking on the door of my apartment, where I live with my wife and three daughters, on the third floor of our three-story family house. My family, which includes my parents and my five brothers, live in the first and second floors, where each floor is made up of one five-roomed apartment that reaches to up to 180 square meters. I woke up and looked out from the window to find a large number of soldiers surrounding the house. So I made the first move and said in Hebrew, in which I'm fluent, "Wait until I wake up the young children", so a soldier answered back in Hebrew, "Come down quickly and open up the gates (the main entrance to the house)”.

I went down immediately and I instantly opened the door alone, when the soldiers then pushed me aside and I fell to the ground. Then the soldiers entered the first floor directly, where my wife and daughters had been sleeping alone, because my wife had given birth just a day before and I didn't want her to have to climb up to the third floor. So I told the soldiers "Wait, my wife is inside", but they did not listen to me, so I went after a few soldiers who had entered my wife's bedroom and she had woken up and remained in bed, while the soldiers surrounded her. They were wearing regular light green uniforms, their faces were camouflaged and they were carrying M16s, which I could distinguish because I knew it. Three of them, who were carrying a big weapon (250), went up to the roof of the house.

My wife was scared and the children, who had woken up, started crying. A soldier said, "Get out of the house." My wife who had only recently given birth, said, "I gave birth to a baby yesterday and so it is less than a day old, I can't take it out." He insisted and said, "Take them out of the house." Then he asked, "Who's upstairs?" (Referring to the second and third floors). I replied, "My family and my parents, who are heavy to carry down." I left the soldier, who I could not distinguish amidst the large number of soldiers, there were maybe up to seven in the room of my wife and children. Then I went upstairs, woke my family up, and told them to come downstairs immediately. Hence, everyone in the second floor came down.

When we reached the first floor, another soldier said, "Go into one of the rooms." We went into a room adjacent to the bedroom where my wife was. Then my wife and our children entered the room, so we reached to around 10 people in the room. The door remained open and we had a number of soldiers with us. One of the soldiers, an officer, who was short probably 165 cm, stout, with a round face, without camouflage, spoke Hebrew, with two stripes on his shoulders, carrying a gun, and

wearing a regular army uniform with a military helmet and a bullet-proof vest like all the other soldiers, told me, "Do you know why we are here?" I answered, "No." He said, “To improve your financial situation. “ I replied, “I do not understand.” He said, “Who is Ibrahim?” I replied, “My brother.” He said, “We are here to execute the court’s decision to demolish the house.” He was showing me a file in his hand two meters away from me and that the reason behind the demolishing was that Ibrahim was a terrorist. I said, “Ibrahim has not been convicted yet.” He said, “I am carrying out military orders.” He added, “You have 10 minutes to evacuate the house.” He started looking at the file and continued, “I am certain,” replying in Hebrew to what my mother had said in Arabic that “maybe they got the name wrong”, which indicates that he understands Arabic very well, (probably a Druze).

Then I left along with two soldiers, upon their request, and I found around 100 soldiers, 40 of them located inside the house. They started pointing out to the neighbor’s houses in order that I ask them to evacuate the houses. During that time, I saw soldiers carrying black wooden boxes a few meters away from the street and their faces were not camouflaged. The seven soldiers who had asked me to inform the neighbors to leave, accompanied me. I warned six houses and then I went back home, where I found all of my family in front of the main gate. My wife Sawsan, 20, told me that she did not get her gold jewelry. I asked an officer, whose rank I could not identify, but I realized he had stripes on his shoulders, and who was standing at the door, in Hebrew, to go and get the jewelry. He said, “Time is over and I cannot allow you to go up.” I insisted that I needed some documents, then he started talking in his radio and he requested that I be allowed to enter the third floor. They allowed me to enter with my wife, accompanied by soldiers. It was around 2:00 am. I went up with my wife and the soldiers and we managed to get the jewelry.

During this time, which only lasted two minutes, I saw a number of engineering soldiers who I assume were digging the walls of the house, with the use of drills (congos). When my wife and I reached the street, I did not find the rest of my family. Then several soldiers took me to a house, 50 meters away and they made us enter. All the men, 50 of them, were jammed up in one 8x4 meter room and all the women were in another room. I do not know how many women were there. The soldiers stayed with us inside the room, standing at the door. The house belongs to Abu-Mustafa al-Ghrouz. At 4:30 am, the house exploded. At around 5:00 am the army left the camp and then I went back to my house but I could not enter because it was still dark, until sunrise, when we discovered the huge damage in the second floor; nothing was left of it. According to the UNRWA’s Committee of Engineers and the Public Works Ministry, the first and the third floor were also damaged and the whole building was about to collapse,.

Signed on 29 February 2004

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 1688/2004
  • Field researcher: Ziad Hmeidan
  • Affidavit Date: 29 February 2004
  • Name: Wael Abdul Rahman
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