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Affidavit No. 5174/2009

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, Jihad Fathi Nayef Abu-Sharkh, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 980011266, born on 6 April 1968, a Palestinian Preventive Security sergeant, and a resident of Badran Street, the old city of Nablus, Nablus city, Nablus governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 26 December 2009, my family members and I were asleep in our flat on the second floor of our three-storey family house, which is located along the Badran Street in the old city of Nablus. My family consists of my wife Suzan (about 35 years) and my children Yaser (about 18 years old), Baha‟ (about 17 years old), Dhiya‟ (about 16 years old), Amani (about 11 years old), Ayah (5 years old), and Dima (3 years old). My mother Khaldiyya (about 61 years old) and Fida‟ (about 25 years old) live in the eastern flat opposite mine on the second floor. Fida‟ is the wife of my brother Nihad, who is detained by the Israeli occupying authorities and sentenced to five and a half years in prison on charges of carrying out activities during the Intifada. My brother Ghassan (about 39 years old) lives on the third floor with his family, including his wife Hiba (32 years old) and their children „Isam (about 11 years old), Mu‟tasem (about 8 years old), Nayef (2 years old), and Khaldiyya (9 years old).

As I mentioned before, while we were asleep, we were suddenly awakened at the sound of a large explosion. As it was very strong, it appeared that the explosion took place near the external door of the western entrance to the house. I immediately turned on the lights outside my flat, which light the internal parts of the building; that is the internal staircase and corridor. Then, I went outside of the flat.

“What happened? What happened?” I shouted as I climbed down the staircase.
I thought that a gas barrel had exploded. After I went out, however, I was surprised to see my mother standing in front of her flat on the internal staircase.
“Army!” She said as soon as she saw me.
“I am coming down! I am coming down!” I repeated.

I climbed down the staircase and reached the corridor, which measures about six metres in length and about three metres in width, in front of the western external entrance of the house. There, I was surprised when I saw more than 20 Israeli soldiers wearing the standard military uniform and carrying long weapons, some of them with mounted lights. Except for two or more masked soldiers, all of the other soldiers had their faces uncovered. As they were positioned along the aforementioned corridor, they pointed their weapons at me as soon as they saw me. A soldier, whose face was uncovered, asked me for my name in Arabic. I did not pay attention to whether a light was installed on his weapon or not.
“Jihad.” I answered.

He demanded that I lift up my shirt, which I did. Then, he ordered me to take off my trousers and to put them on again, as well as to turn around to the right and left, which I also did. Then, a number of soldiers approached me and grabbed my arm. Some soldiers yelled and inquired about my name, which I answered. Shouting, they also inquired about my ID card number, but I replied that I did not have it memorised. I kept asking them why they yelled, but they beat me with their feet, fists and rifles on every part of my body. I shouted at them, asking them why they were doing that. A soldier threatened that if I did not keep silent, he would shoot me. After I was beaten for a minute or so, a soldier secured my hands forcefully behind my back with plastic handcuffs and directed me to the western entrance; that is to the external door. There, I discovered that the explosion had hit the iron door, because it was removed from its place. I estimated that the soldier who had first talked to me was around 40 years of age. He inquired about the names of my brothers living in the house.
“Ghassan, Nihad and I” I replied.

Having asked about my brother Nihad, I said that he was detained. About four minutes later, the soldier brought me back to the corridor and demanded that I call my brother Ghassan to get out and see the soldiers. Immediately, I started to call for Ghassan to go out. As my mother was several metres away from me on the internal staircase, she also called for Ghassan to get out. In less than two minutes, I saw my brother Ghassan arrive from the internal staircase to a small landing, measuring one and a half square metres, on a flight of four steps east of the corridor, where we were present. When he reached the landing, Ghassan was about six or seven metres to the east of the soldiers and I. With his face turned towards the soldiers and I, we could see him clearly because many soldiers pointed their weapon-mounted lights at him. As he descended (to the landing), he held a cigarette in his hand, smoked, and wore jean trousers. The soldiers and I watched him as soldiers‟ weapon flashlights were pointed at him.

As soon as Ghassan reached the landing, and without prior notice, four or five bullets were fired on him swiftly and directly by the soldiers who were positioned around me. At that moment, I was shocked and had not expected that this would have happened. Therefore, I did not distinguish the soldier or soldiers who had opened fire. Immediately after the shots were fired, Ghassan fell on his face on the landing and flight of stairs. He was soaked with blood and did not utter a word.

“You killed him. Why did you do that?” I yelled, but no one answered.
Directly afterwards, I was taken out to the street west of the house. I stayed on the street for two minutes and kept shouting. Another soldier came and threatened that if I did not keep silent, I would be shot and killed. Later, a number of soldiers led me to the corridor into the house. My family members, who were present on the staircase outside their flats, screamed because Ghassan had been killed. While I stood in the corridor, I saw my brother Ghassan lying on the ground with a number of soldiers several metres away from him. Shortly after I was forced into the house, a soldier demanded that I get all those present in the house out onto the street. After calling them, soldiers forced all of my family members and I outside. Several minutes after I reached the street, another soldier wearing the standard military uniform and carrying a long weapon approached me and identified himself as an Intelligence officer. I estimated that he was in his fifties. He asked me who had been shot.

“My brother Ghassan.” I replied. “Why did you kill him? Why did you do that?” I went on.
“Why did he flee?” he commented.
“You lie.” I replied.
In the meantime, my mother screamed and asked for an ambulance.
“Now we will bring an ambulance!” The Intelligence officer replied sarcastically.
The officer asked me how many floors were in the building, and I said there were three. Then, he went away.

Later, a number of soldiers directed me to the corridor in the house. My brother Ghassan had been moved to the corridor near the western entrance and placed on his back. At that time I was in shock, realising that my brother was martyred. He was motionless, and I did not hear him breathing. The same soldier, who spoke with me at first, asked me about the persons who were still in the house. I said my son Baha‟ was inside.
“Tell him to get out, or I will kill him.” The soldier said.
Immediately, I called my son, but my family members who were outside on the street heard me and said that Baha‟ was at his aunt‟s house, so I explained this to the soldier. Then, the soldier inquired about the location of weapons in the house, but I said there were no weapons.
“If I find a weapon, I will kill you.” He said, pointing his arm at Ghassan.
“Do whatever you want.” I replied.
About five minutes later, I was taken out to the street. During this time, a number of soldiers, one of whom had a dog, entered the house. On the street, soldiers forced me to sit beside my son Yaser, whose hands were tied in front of him with plastic handcuffs. The soldiers stayed inside the house for about one hour. After they came back out, a soldier blindfolded me, forced me into the rear cabin of an armoured personnel carrier (APC), and made me sit on a seat. When the APC drove off, I requested that the handcuffs be loosened. Instead of responding to my request, soldiers shouted obscenities at me. Other soldiers also beat me with their fists on every part of my body.

About 15 minutes later (I am estimating the period of time), the APC stopped somewhere and a number of soldiers forced me to step down. Grabbing my right and left arms, two soldiers walked with me for a distance of about 40 – 50 metres, turned back for the same distance, and forced me into the APC. During that time, a soldier pushed me forcefully from behind and I fell on my face on the ground. I screamed of the pain, especially in my legs. A soldier requested that I stand up, but I said I could not. Immediately then, two soldiers grabbed my arms, lifted me up from the APC‟s floor and made me sit on a seat. I screamed of the pain in my legs. I also felt pain in my hands because of the handcuffs. About two or more minutes later, a soldier removed the handcuffs and tied my hands again, in front of me. Almost five minutes later, I heard the door close and the APC move, but I did not know where we were heading. A short time later, I was forced to get out of the APC and was ordered to sit down.

I said I could not sit because my legs hurt me. After standing for several minutes, a soldier told me to walk. Meanwhile, a soldier told me to walk at a slow pace and I felt that I was climbing down a staircase. After I walked for several metres, I was forced to sit down on a solid object. I sat for half an hour (I am estimating the period of time). During this time, I heard a number of male and female soldiers laughing. Later, I was forced to walk the same distance, which I mentioned above. On the staircase, a soldier told me to walk slowly. Then, I was placed onboard of the APC. After it drove for several minutes, a number of soldiers took me down and removed the blindfold and handcuffs. I realised I was near the Huwwara checkpoint and a soldier demanded that I go home.

After I waited for several minutes for an Arab car to transport me, I reached the city of Nablus in less than half an hour. I looked at my watch, which indicated it was 9:00 am. When I reached my house, many people were offering condolences for the death of my brother Ghassan. I was not surprised; I knew that he had been martyred from the very first moment. My family told me that the dead body of my brother had been transported to the Rafidia Hospital in the city of Nablus. Therefore, I went to the hospital, which I reached in about five minutes. At the hospital, I saw my cousin Farid (about 45 years old) and asked him where the corpse of Ghassan was. He said that it was downstairs, referring to the mortuary. I hurried down and I saw many people there.

I  stepped forward to see my brother Ghassan, but a person told me that it was the corpse of Ra‟ed al-Sarkaji. Another person said that the dead body of „Anan Subuh was also there. I was in great shock as I knew both Ra‟ed and „Anan. At that time, I was informed that the said martyrs were killed by the Israeli occupying troops on the same day. Then, I stepped back and could not look at the corpse of my brother. About an hour later, the dead bodies were transported and buried in cemeteries in the city of Nablus.

Although I did not see the exact location of bullet wounds on my brother‟s body, I felt that he sustained wounds in the chest and legs. Many persons who saw his corpse told me that.

Finally, I should note that when I went out after I had heard the sound of the explosion, I did not pay attention to the time. On the same day, however, my family told me that the explosion occurred at around 2:30 am. It is worth mentioning that before they withdrew, Israeli troops removed the handcuffs on my son Yaser‟s hands and turned him back to the house.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5174/2009
  • Field researcher: Yousef Qawareiq
  • Affidavit Date: 31 December 2009
  • Name: Jihad Fathi Nayef Abu-Sharkh
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