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Affidavit No. 3476/2007

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 Na'ima Ahmad Hasan Khdour, of
Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 988585618, born on 1937, a house wife anda resident of Bitouniya, Ramallah Governorate, would like to declare the following:


I am a Palestinian citizen. I was born and lived in the Palestinian village of Yalo. On 5 June 1967, war broke out between the Arab armies and Israel. At the time, I was a mother of five children: Mahmoud, who was seven years old, In'am, who was six years old, Samira, who was five years old, Rukayya, who was two years old, and Muhammad, who was nine months old. I was also nine months pregnant.

My husband, whose name is 'Isa Muhammad 'Isa, was a member of the Palestinian National Security Guards. He was also a volunteer in the Jordanian army. At dawn
on 6 June 1967, my husband arrived to our house in Yalo at approximately 3:30 am and informed me that the Israeli army was very close and could invade our village at any time. He also added that the Jordanian army had withdrawn from the village and their camps. Accordingly, he urged me to take the children and go to my father-inlaw's house, 500 metres away from our house. My husband helped carry the children.

On the way, we ran into my father-in-law, who was coming to our house to tell us that people were fleeing the village and that it was being said that the Israelis were going to occupy our village. At approximately 6:30 am on the same day, people started fleeing in huge numbers and I heard sporadic shooting. My father-in-law ordered me to get the children ready and prepare to flee to Ramallah. We walked along with hundreds of families. I saw Israeli military vehicles and tanks on the roads. We made our way on foot through the agricultural roads and between the fields without any food or drink until we arrived to 'Ein 'Arik village, west of Ramallah city, at sunset.

I bought sweets for my children from one of the groceries and we spent the first night in the open air in 'Ein 'Arik. I was exhausted. At dawn on 7 June 1967, my husband brought some rice. I cooked it and fed my children. Because of the extremely cold weather, I wrapped my son Muhammad, who was nine months old, in a cloth sac, as we had no clothes with us. When my husband saw this, he decided to go back to our house in Yalo and bring some beans, oil and clothes.

My husband left for Yalo at approximately 9:00 am. I desperately wanted to go with him in order to make sure that my father, who was disabled having lost one of his feet, was ok. However, my pregnancy and exhaustion prevented me from doing so. My husband spent the night in Yalo and returned the following morning. He asked me to prepare the children to return to the village. Several families had returned to their homes and there were no traces of any Israelis in the village. Furthermore, it would be impossible for us to bare such harsh living conditions out in the open.

I was afraid to go back and I had a heated argument with my husband. I initially refused to return but eventually accepted my husband’s will. We left 'Ein 'Arik with a
small number of people. My husband took the white cover from my head a placed it on a stick as a form of protection. The soldiers saw us but did not attack. I arrived at my father’s house along with my husband and children. I bathed my children and prepared food.

My husband then asked me to accompany him to check on our house. We had seen several houses open and demolished with the furniture thrown outside. Our house was 800 metres away from my father’s house and overlooks the main ’Imwas road. I saw dozens of Israeli tanks approaching our village from ’Imwas. I went running back to my father’s house. When I got into the house, my husband arrived with a donkey.

He told me, “the soldiers caught me on the road and ordered me to take you and get out of the village to Beit Sira.” After we had walked a few hundred metres, I realised we had forgotten Rukayya and informed my husband. Without even thinking I ran back to the house and found Rukayya sitting there. I took Rukayya and returned to my husband and children.

Along the way, we ran into Israeli soldiers who were suspicious of my father's wooden foot and tried to dismantle it. When we arrived at the spring named 'Ein Yalo,
we found lots of people looking as if it was doomsday. There, we found soldiers screaming at us: "Go to Beit Sira.” We walked on foot until we arrived at Beit Sira. We found an unfinished house and spent several nights there. I do not recall the exact day, but maybe it was 12 June 1967, when my father decided to accompany Ibarhim Shu'eibi, a resident of our village, to go back and pick up some furniture and clothes. Several residents from the village had already gone back and taken some of their belongings.

By noon my husband had not returned home. I was very worried and told my children that we had to go and look for their father. I left Beit Sira to go to Yalo. On my way I met with some other villagers who advised me to return to Beit Sira as the situation was very dangerous in Yalo. They also informed me that my husband had been killed by the Israelis. I returned to Beit Sira shocked and upset. When I arrived in Beit Sira, several displaced people from my village came to pay their condolences for the death of my husband. I settled in Beit Sira and had the child I was pregnant with. I named him 'Isa, after his father. I subsequently lived with my father and brother in Qalandiya camp for several years, and then moved to Bitouniya.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 3476/2007
  • Field researcher: Manaf Abbas
  • Affidavit Date: 18 March 2007
  • Name: Na'ima Ahmad Hasan Khdour
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