Affidavit No. 2044/2004

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, 'Asem 'Aref Muhammad Jarrar, holder of ID # 975482969, born on 20 August 1962, a laborer and resident of Nablus Street, Jenin, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On Sunday, 7 November 2004, I was at my workplace in 'Abd-al-'Afou gas station, located on Jenin-Nablus Street. Exactly at 5:45 p.m., I saw a black new model jeep enter the gas station from the direction of Jenin. This jeep stopped in front of the gas pump. I approached it and looked inside, where I saw four young men whom I do not know. The young man who was sitting beside the driver asked me to fill it up with 20 shekels worth of fuel. I came closer to take the money and saw that this man had a weapon. Then I immediately realised that these men were armed and perhaps wanted by the Israeli army. That day was the 24th day of Ramadan; not many people were out because most were in their homes taking their iftar (breaking of the fast). I filled the car with fuel and the jeep left.

No sooner was the jeep four metres away when I saw a grey Volkswagen, but I did not notice the plate number. This second car was coming very quickly from the south (the Jenin entrance) and it was driving opposite to the traffic and stopped in front of the jeep carrying the four young men, impeding it from driving ahead. All this happened while I was in the gas station, watching what was happening. Without notice or warning, and very quickly, I saw four weapons stick out of the Volkswagen car, shooting at the jeep through the windows. I hid behind the gas pump while firing continued towards the jeep for one minute. The distance between the jeep and the Volkswagen car was less than one metre and the distance between me and the scene was less than four metres.

Then I saw five persons in civilian dress get out of the Volkswagen and continue to shoot at the jeep. I was watching with amazement and fear for what was going on. I realised that the men who were firing were from the Israeli Special Squad, especially after I heard them shouting in Hebrew. Most of the members of the Israeli Special Squad were wearing blue jeans and light shirts of different colours.

Out of great fear, I crawled on my stomach and went to a special room located in the station, three metres behind where I was standing. The gun firing stopped and then I thought that some people were walking in the station and approaching me. Three of the Squad members entered the room where I was hiding and they aimed their guns towards me. One of them was tall, thin, with soft black hair, and in his mid-20s. They started shouting loudly in my face, in Arabic and Hebrew, “Don’t move, don’t lift your head, if you do we will fire at you.” Then these three men ordered me to stand and lift my hands up and turn my face towards the wall. I did what they ordered. Then the tall man with black hair broke the glass of the window and the items in the office, then kicked me hard at my feet, causing me to fall to the ground. After that, they turned the electric current off in the station and took me to another room located behind the room where they found me. The Israeli Squad members were behaving like mad people, shouting and breaking the furniture. They were also talking all the time on their wireless apparatuses in Hebrew, which I do not understand.

After 10 minutes, a group from the Israeli army reached in the area. I knew that when I saw an Israeli soldier in the military uniform coming into the room to where the squad members had moved me. The Israeli soldier ordered me in Arabic to stand with my face towards the wall. The soldier was standing with the other Squad members inside the room, talking in Hebrew. This soldier asked me if anything happened to me with the Israeli army and I answered no, and asked him to let me smoke a cigarette, and he allowed me to do that.

After five minutes, one of the Israeli Special Squad members came back to me, the same tall person with black hair, and led me towards a military jeep known to us by the name “Aziza,” which means dear. He put me in the back, amid a group of soldiers, and beside the aforementioned Special Squad member. At that moment, I realised that they were going to arrest me, and so I requested them to let me close the fuel room. No sooner had I requested this when one of the soldiers seized my head and insulted me with a curse word [the word is reserved with the researcher] and hit my head on the floor of the military jeep. Then the soldier handcuffed my hands with plastic cuffs to the back and blindfolded my eyes. Then the jeep started to head north towards Jenin City.

After driving for 20 minutes, according to my estimation, the jeep stopped and the soldiers ordered me to get down from the jeep and made me sit on an asphalt road. After half an hour, the soldiers took me on foot to a place four minutes away, during which the soldiers were laughing at me and striking against me with the aim of scorning me. They made me sit on earthy ground for a period of time, and then moved me to another asphalt ground, and so the situation continued, taking me from one place to another until three hours after my arrest I reached a tent containing an iron bed. At midnight, according to my estimation, an Israeli soldier called Jamal, I knew his name by hearing the soldiers talk, entered the tent and started asking me questions such as “what did the Israeli soldiers do?,” and “where is your identity card?,” “What are the names of your sons and daughters?," and similar questions. Then he said, “Now, 'Asem sleep on the bed” and I answered “Why? I have nothing to do with anything that happened.” This soldier left without me seeing him because I was still blindfolded and handcuffed, and I only could see a little when I looked down. Having my hands cuffed to my back this whole time caused severe pain in my shoulders.

At around 12:15 a.m. on 8 November 2004, one of the soldiers took me from the tent and we walked together for about seven minutes and then he put me in a car that drove me around for 10 minutes. Then the soldier got me out, uncuffed my hands, and unblindfolded my eyes. I saw two Israeli soldiers and a lot of machinery and armoured cars, but I did not know where I was. When I asked the soldiers that, one of them told me in Hebrew, “Go away from here.” Although I repeated this questions many times, the soldiers refused to answer my question and told me to leave the place immediately. I started to walk on an asphalt street and after 10 minutes, I saw on the left a village and I knew that I was near al-Jalama village and that I had been in the Israeli military camp. I called one of my friends in Jenin with my mobile, which the Israeli soldiers did not seize, and told him my whereabouts. He asked me to go al-Jalama village, where I found somebody waiting for me. He took me to his home, where I stayed until the early morning when I returned to Jenin, directly to the gas station.

There I found out that four young Palestinian men had been martyred: Fadi Ighbariyya, Muhammad Masharqa, Amin Abu-Kamel, and Mahmoud 'Ala’ al-Din. These young men were from the Jenin Refugee Camp and were activists with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad. They were the same four young men who were in the black jeep. It is worth noting that no confrontation happened between these young men and the Israeli Special Squad members. Moreover, shooting at the young men took place without any warning. I have suffered for two days from severe pains in my shoulders and from a very bad psychological state, resulting from witnessing the killings before my eyes.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 20 November 2004
Signature: 'Asem 'Aref Muhammad Jarrar

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2044/2004
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 20 November 2004
  • Name: 'Asem 'Aref Muhammad Jarrar
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