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Affidavit No. 2000/2004

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, Rida Muhammad Mousa Abu-Daqqa, holdingJordanian passport # H 625416, born on 1 January 1936, a farmer and a resident of Zeita,Toulkarem Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a citizen of this homeland. I have a story with this homeland and with the Israelioccupation that I am going to try to illustrate. I am a citizen of Zeita village, ToulkaremGovernorate, which I left when I was only a child. I grew up in exile away from my homelandand my concerns grew up with me. I left for the Gulf and worked in Kuwait, and there Imarried and had my children. But after the invasion of Kuwait by the former Iraqi regime, Iwas made to leave Kuwait to Jordan with my children and wife, who soon died there. Thisevent made me think of returning to the homeland where there is my family and where Ihave land. But because I do not hold the Palestinian citizenship I.D. card, the Israeliauthorities prevented me from entering the West Bank.

After the peace accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis, visitor’s permits weregiven to Palestinians that enable them to enter the West Bank. One of my relatives from 'Attilvillage, Toulkarem Governorate, worked on issuing a visitor’s permit for me, through which Ientered the West Bank on 12 January 1996, after more than 30 years. My first concern wasto reach my agricultural land (45 dunums planted with olive trees) located southwest of Zeitavillage. I then decided to remain in my village where we have an old family house, which Irepaired, and later I married Manal Mustafa Daqqa from 'Attil village.

This marriage’s aim was for me to obtain a Palestinian citizenship I.D. card. On 12 August1998, Manal submitted a family reunion application for me. Later on the visitor’s permitexpired and I violated the residency conditions because I wanted to stay in my home and onmy land among my relatives, whatever the price may be. Until that time, I did not receive anyresponse concerning the family reunion. With the outbreak of al-Aqsa Intifada on 28September 2000, the Israeli occupation authorities stopped considering the family reunionapplications. In this way, the situation got worse and my agricultural land was the only thingthat relieved me. I spent the day from morning until evening working on my land and takingcare of my olive trees, because I was afraid to go out of my village for fear that I wouldencounter an Israeli checkpoint where I would be arrested because I do not hold aPalestinian I.D. card.

It is difficult to express how difficult that situation is because I feel that I am living in asomewhat large prison and that others are better than me. My only comfort was my land towhich I complained and talked about my concerns and feelings. But even that did not lastlong. The Israeli occupation deprived me of my land as it deprived me before from living inmy homeland in a natural and legal way. This happened when the Israeli army embarked onthe construction of the Separation Wall along the Green Line that separates the West Bankfrom the Palestinian lands occupied in 1948.

This Wall has swallowed my land as the wild animals swallow their prey. My land wasconfiscated at the end of 2002 when the Separation Wall had been constructed in Zeitavillage. Imagine! The Wall has completely separated me from my land, which is now behindthe Wall and I am unable to reach it. So for around three years, I have not entered my landwhere I used to spend my days taking care of it. My land, which I reached everyday on foot,now I can only see from a distance and wave at it with my hands so it would remember me.As you know, my situation is worse than others because I cannot obtain a permit from theIsraeli occupation forces that enables me to enter my land and pick my crops like othersbecause I do not have an I.D. card.

This situation has been adversely affected my psychological situation. These days, I do notleave my home and do not meet with anybody. Everything for me has gone and finishedbecause of the Israeli occupation. I have not even seen my four sons who live in Jordansince 1996, and I have not left Zeita village for five years because I do not have aPalestinian I.D. card. I live in continuous fear from being arrested and deported by the Israelioccupying forces. This is a nightmare and a ghost that chases me continuously. Now, I amunemployed, and I lost my land on which I relied for my livelihood before the Separation Wallseparated me from it. I have been crying for a long time, asking for help to put an end for thistorturous situation, which I have been going through for a long time; but I have got noresponse. Please, I request you to help me and pass my appeal to the entire world, maybesomeone will respond.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, on 4 October 2004.
Signature: Rida Muhammad Mousa Abu-Daqqa

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2000/2004
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 4 October 2004
  • Name: Rida Muhammad Mousa Abu-Daqqa
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