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Affidavit No. 5168/2009

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, Muhammad Akram „Ali al-Haddad, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 943217539, born on 16 April 1980, a mechanic, and a resident of the Nimra neighbourhood, Hebron city, Hebron governorate, would like to declare the following:

I live in a four-storey house, where five families reside. My family and I live on the third floor. My family consists of four members, including my two children who are under four years of age. My eldest brother „Isam, about 40 years of age, lives with his family on the first floor. He has five children, the eldest of whom is almost 13 years old. My stepmother lives in a separate flat on the first floor with her son (my half-brother) Ahmed, who is about 21 years. My mother, two sisters and brother Iyad, who is unmarried and about 27 years, live on the second floor. My brother Hamada, about 24 years, lives alone on the fourth floor.

At around 12:15 am on Sunday, 13 December 2009, I got up at the sound of loud banging on the doors of the ground floor of the house. When I looked through the window of the house balcony, I saw a large number of Israeli occupying troops and six armoured personnel carriers (APCs) of various types dispersed around the house. Through a window on the second floor, I heard my brother Iyad ask who was there.

“We are the army. Everybody in the house must get out.” a soldier replied.

All of the residents of the building went outside. My wife and I each carried a child. I carried my son Ibrahim, who is about three and a half years old, and my wife carried our son Yousef, two years old. As I was leaving the house, I saw the soldiers point their weapons at everybody who came through the door. At a distance of five metres from the house door, a soldier pointed his weapon at me and indicated that I put my son down on the ground and lift up my shirt, which I did. Meanwhile, my two children became frightened and started crying. After everybody had gone outside, soldiers allowed the women and children to enter the house and demanded that they stay on the balcony of the ground (first) floor. Soldiers demanded that my four brothers and I stand at different locations around the house yard and on the street, at a distance of about ten metres away from one another. While I was waiting in the house yard, I heard someone talking to my brother „Isam in broken Arabic, inquiring about whether anyone had remained in the house. „Isam said that no one else was there. From the place where I stood, I then heard and saw the same person ask „Isam about our names and to point us out, which „Isam did. When my brother „Isam introduced Iyad, the said person approached Iyad and demanded that he present his ID card and inquired about his date of birth. The aforementioned person then called a soldier and ordered him to handcuff Iyad and take him to the jeep. He spoke in Hebrew, which I could somewhat understand. I believe that he was an officer because he wore body armour that was a different colour from the other soldiers and issued directives to them. Later, soldiers demanded that my brothers and I sit on the ground. As the officer and a number of soldiers were about to enter the house, „Isam asked them where they were going. The officer said they wanted to search the house. „Isam insisted that he accompany them during the search, but the officer refused and told soldiers to approach him and threatened to beat him. The officer also shouted obscenities at „Isam. After he entered the house, the officer returned and asked „Isam on which floor Iyad lived.

“I do not know. Go and search and will find out.” „Isam replied.
Along with the officer, almost eight soldiers entered the house. About half an hour later, two or three soldiers went out and demanded that my brother Hamada accompany them to the house, which he did. About five minutes later, Hamada came back. Later, Hamada told me that the soldiers had asked him about Iyad‟s room and that he had guided them to it. We heard the sound of pieces of furniture being moved as well as the steps of soldiers, who moved around various floors of the house. When I was outside, I heard my mother and stepmother quarrel with soldiers and request that they go to the toilet as both suffer from diabetes. However, soldiers refused to allow them to do so.

More than an hour and a half later, soldiers called my brothers and I, forced us into the guestroom on the first floor, and locked the door while we were inside. When I looked through the window which overlooks the house door, I heard and saw the army vehicles withdraw from the area in front of the house to the main street. At that moment, I looked at my watch and saw it was 1:55 am. After the soldiers, who took my brother Iyad with them, had left, my family members and I checked the house. We found that soldiers had tampered with pieces of furniture, thrown contents of cupboards on the ground; moved the cupboards, taken mattresses off the beds, and removed contents from our kitchens. We also found that soldiers had taken the personal documents of my family members to the second floor. We also found documents of cars, which I was then repairing, thrown on the ground on the second floor.

In my flat, I had a small box in which I kept my money and my wife‟s jewellery. In addition to six gold bracelets and other pieces of gold belonging to my wife, I kept a sum of NIS 7,000 and JD 1,200 in the box, which I put in the cupboard in my bedroom. Immediately after the soldiers had left, I went to my flat and opened and checked the box. It was in its place inside the cupboard. However, contents of the other cupboard were thrown on the ground. I found that all of the money as well as two bracelets were missing from the box. My wife checked the box as well and affirmed that the two gold bracelets were missing. Furthermore, we lost my wife‟s new cellular telephone (a Nokia N 95), a video camera, and other objects. Later, we found the video camera on the second floor. Although we did not find my wife‟s cellular telephone, we located the telephone‟s chip on the ground in my flat. All of my family members checked their belongings. Only my wife‟s telephone and bracelets as well as the sum of money I mentioned above were missing. I should note that there were also money and gold in the other flats.

This morning, I learned that my brother Iyad was being detained in the al-Muscobiya (the „Russian Compound‟) Interrogation and Detention Centre in the city of Jerusalem. My brother Iyad had been arrested twice in the past, each time for two years. On the first occasion, he was detained under an administrative detention order (arrest without charge or trial). On the second, an Israeli military court convicted him of affiliation with the Hamas movement. Iyad is engaged and was supposed to celebrate his wedding party on Friday, 18 December 2009. It should be noted he was released at the beginning of last July from Israeli prison.

I intend to go to the Israeli Police station today or tomorrow and file a complaint against the thieves.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5168/2009
  • Field researcher: Hisham Sharabati
  • Affidavit Date: 14 December 2009
  • Name: Muhammad Akram „Ali al-Haddad
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