Affidavit No. 4399/2008

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, Mukarram Yousef Hamdan Daghmash, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 969745312, born in 1957, a housewife and a resident of the al-Sabra neighbourhood, Gaza Governorate, would like to declare the following:

At about 8:30 pm on Monday, 15 September 2008, my family and I were present in my three storey house, located at the end of the al-Mughrabi Street, in the al-Sabra neighbourhood south of Gaza city. My sons and daughters Jamil, Ibrahim, Yousef, Muhammad and Mahmoud were along with me in the house. A number of men from the family asked my sons Jamil and Ibrahim to surrender themselves to the Police.

The Police claimed that they had killed a fellow Police officer from the Khuzeiq family earlier that same day. Moments after the men left our house, I heard the sound of intensive fire target my house while we were inside. Then, I heard the sound of strong explosions and shells hitting the walls of my house. My family and I went down to the ground floor, seeking protection from bullets and shells. Some of my sons remained on the upper floor. I learned that hundreds of members of the Police and Executive Forces surrounded the area and mounted the roofs of high buildings.

Fire was opened intensively but sporadically until 5:30 am the next day. Unconcerned for the life of women and children in the house, members of the Police and Executive Forces targeted my house, using various types of shells. My sons then joined us.

Fearing for our lives, we decided to get out of the house and seek protection in the house belonging to Um Mumtaz Daghmash. When my son Yousef, 19 years old, got out of the front door, he sustained a bullet wound and started to scream. His brothers Jamil, Muhammad and Mahmoud brought him in and tried to give him first aid treatment. After Jamil went out of the house, I heard him shout for help. A number of youths from the family brought him inside the house. I saw that Yousef had sustained a bullet wound in the head. As he was breathing his last breath, I washed his face with water and recited Qur'anic verses for him. I covered his face with a piece of cloth after he passed away.

I decided to go, with my daughters and sons, to my neighbour Um Mumtaz’s house, seeking protection from fire and shells which could hit us at any moment. This is the safest place in the neighbourhood, because of the good relationship that Mumtaz enjoys with Hamas. My daughters and I, as well as their children, my sons Muhammad, Mahmoud and Ibrahim, Ibrahim Muhammad Daghmash and his friend Wasim Kuheil, went into Um Mumtaz's house through the back door, which connects my house to hers. All of us went into a room on the ground floor of Um Mumtaz's house. I heard the sound of intensive fire target hit exterior door. To save his life, one of my daughters gave my son Ibrahim women's clothing, a gown and veil. In the midst of intensive fire, the Police officers managed to raid Um Mumtaz's house. Um Mumtaz and I begged them not to kill our sons. Meanwhile, Um Mumtaz's 15-yearold daughter went out, raising a white piece of cloth on a broomstick. "You will have the peace of God. The traitor will betray God," I heard a Police officer say.

Then, I saw a large number of Police and Executive Forces officers enter Um Mumtaz's house. They entered the room that we were sitting in. A Police officer demanded that my son Ibrahim, who wore women's clothes, take off the veil on his face. Then, they dragged him from his hair outside the room. They stretched him out on the floor in the sitting room, opposite the room where we sat, and executed him. They shot him in his head, chest and feet before my own eyes and the eyes of his sisters and children of my family. They did not show mercy for my weeping and my grief. Then, Police members entered the room once again. I saw them lead Ibrahim Muhammad Daghmash, Mumtaz's brother, whilst his mother was screaming. They also stretched him out over the floor and killed him in the same manner. "You are Mumtaz's brother. By God, we will break your hearts for them," they reiterated each time they opened fire.

Then, they entered the room again and led Wasim Kheil, Ibrahim's friend. Wasim was carrying the Holy Qur'an in his hands and reciting verses. They also killed him in the same way after they laid him on the ground and they shot him in the head, chest and feet. I saw members of the Police and Executive Force execute my son Muhammad and his cousin Jamil Jamal Daghmash before my eyes and the eyes of children and women of my family. Of my five sons, I now only have my son Mahmoud, who is 16 years old. Police officers tried to execute him in the same manner, but Um Mumtaz prevented them from doing it. I saw Police members punch her in the face. Even though I could not move, I intervened to protect my son and Um Mumtaz. At this point, Police officers severely beat me and Um Mumtaz.

Then, they opened fire at our feet. Um Mumtaz and I sustained injuries of bullet shrapnel and fainted. We were transported to the al-Shifa' Hospital in the centre of Gaza city. About two hours later, I came around and learned that my four sons were killed. I was also informed that the Police took the corpse of my son Jamil to the house of the police officer ‘Abd-al-Karim Khuziq, which is approximately one kilometre away from my house. There, they opened fire towards the corpse several times. I tried to go to the mortuary for a farewell sight of my four sons. However, Police officers prevented me and my daughters from seeing and bidding farewell to my killed sons.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4399/2008
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 20 September 2008
  • Name: Mukarram Daghmash
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