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Affidavit No. 4031/2008

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, ‘Imad ‘Aref Bayer Jaradat, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 977790385, born on 8 April 1960, chairman of Zbouba Village Council and a resident of Zbouba village, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

Zbouba village is located 12 kilometres northwest of Jenin and its population comprises 2400 individuals. Israeli occupying forces started the construction of the Separation Wall on the village lands in 2002 and finished its construction at the end of the same year. The Wall was constructed on three sides of the village: east, north and west. The south was left to be the only link with the other parts of the West Bank. However, whenever the Israeli occupation puts one of its mobile checkpoints at this south entrance, the village becomes completely isolated from the external world.

The total area of the village lands comprises 1000 dunums of which the occupation forces have confiscated around 200 for the construction of the Wall, which led to the isolation of parts of the village land behind the Wall. This Wall consists of electronic barbed wires, an asphalt street and a sand street. In addition, cameras, which are installed all over the Wall, make it difficult for any citizen to approach the Wall or try to surpass it.

The Israeli military camp “Salem” is located west of Zbouba, one kilometre from the village. To reach their lands isolated behind the Wall, people have to pass through an iron gate. This iron gate, numbered 100, is the only way for people to reach their lands and crossing it requires special permits. The Israeli occupying forces only grant very few of these required permits to Zbouba citizens.

I own 21 dunums of agricultural land. This land is located in the vicinity of Salem military camp west of the village. My land is planted with almond trees and was formerly also cultivated with different kinds of crops. Before the construction of the Wall, I could easily reach my land every day. But the construction of parts of the Wall on my land has deprived me from reaching it. Now, 17 dunums of my land are completely isolated behind the Wall and only four dunums of land remain in its close vicinity.

During the construction process, Israeli bulldozers uprooted around 300 almond trees from my land. Since the construction of the Wall, I have never reached my land because its trees are uprooted and destroyed. As for the other land adjacent to the Wall, I rarely reach it or check on it because Israeli military patrols are continuously present all along the Wall and prevent us from approaching nearby lands.

On 19 January 2008, my 14 year old son Muhammad ‘Imad Jaradat and I went to our four-dunum piece of land to plant olive trees on it. No sooner had we reached the land than an Israeli military jeep arrived and the occupation soldiers arrested my son without giving any reason. They took him to al-Jalama military camp located north of Jenin city. Then he was taken to Salem military camp and was released at 10:00 pm of the same day. This is an example of the continuous harassments we are constantly subjected to by the occupation army.

The Israeli army does not stop at the confiscation of our land but it constantly – almost every night – raids our village and arrests its citizens, especially children. The number of children currently detained in the Israeli prison is three: Mu’taz Nader ‘Ali Jaradat, 14 years old, Sa’d Muhammad Ahmad Jaradat, 15 years old, and Muhammad ‘Imad ‘Amarna, 15 years old. These three children have been detained for around 20 days, accused of coming close to the Wall and trying to cut its barbed wires.

The impact of the construction of the Separation Wall does not only amount to agricultural concerns and the confiscation of lands. The construction of the Wall has deprived hundreds of workers of Zbouba village from reaching their work places inside the Green Line. This, in turn, has denied hundreds of Palestinian households in Zbouba village their source of living. As a result, poverty and unemployment rates in the village have significantly increased since the construction of the Wall, not to mention the continuous harassments carried out by the Israeli patrols deployed along the Wall on a daily basis. These harassments include annoying noises and insults made, as well as unethical and dirty words uttered at night through the loudspeakers of the army. In short, Zbouba citizens continuously suffer because of the construction of the Israeli Separation Wall.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4031/2008
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 23 January 2008
  • Name: ‘Imad ‘Aref Bayer Jaradat
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