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Affidavit No. 6128/2011

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, Firas Salim Muhammad al-Rweidi, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 300310646, born on 15 June 1987, a carpenter, and a resident of Silwan neighbourhood, Jerusalem city, Jerusalem governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a married man who is father to a one and a half year-old son and expecting a newborn baby. My family and I live in an area called Ras al-Bustan in Silwan neighbourhood south al- Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem; occupied by Israel in 1967.

On Friday, 4 March 2011, I returned from my work in al-‘Eizariyya (a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem) and was in Ras al-Bustan at around 5:00 pm. As I approached the area with my car, I found that there were clashes taking place between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian boys. The soldiers were shooting bullets and tear gas grenades and the Palestinian boys were throwing stones. As I was driving in Ras al-Bustan area, I noticed that there were Israeli Special Forces around; I could tell they were Special Forces from the dark blue uniforms they had on. I also noticed that the clashes were not very intense. The Special Forces hid in a corner and were ready to come out and attack in case clashes escalated further. There were also two officers from the Special Forces who stood in the middle of the street as cars moved along. I was passing the street slowly in my car while honking as a signal to the Palestinian boys to stop throwing stones until I had passed. Suddenly, I was approached by an Israeli Special Forces officer who came to my window and ordered me to stop at the intersection; placing me directly in the line of stone throwing. The Special Forces officer was on the other side of the car, using my car as protection and myself as a human shield. A stone hit the car’s surface and another seemed to have passed under the car. As the Special Forces officers shielded themselves, I advanced in my car about three metres away from the intersection towards my house seeking protection from the stones. I knew that members of the occupying forces were not in front of my car but beside it. I got out of my car towards my house and saw about five Special Forces officers run towards me. One of them screamed at me in Hebrew, a language I can somewhat understand, and then started cursing me and offending my mother. Soon after, three or four Special Forces officers came towards me and pushed me against the car making me unable to move. One officer hit me on my head with his helmet twice; the first time I felt my head spinning and the second time I felt blood gushing from my head. The beating went on for about five minutes during which the officers were punching and kicking me all over my body. During the beating, I heard the voice of a woman who was asking her colleagues to move away from me.

Moments later, I felt a rubber-coated steel bullet go through my waist. I believe it was shot by the female Special Forces officer who was only three metres from me. I then lay on the ground and did not know what happened to me until medics tried to wake me up and transport me to al- Maqased Hospital (a Palestinian hospital in East Jerusalem). There, I received five stitches for the injury in my head. I also underwent other medical exams; I had my head and waist x-rayed.

They also took care of my bullet wound which looked like a large circular burn and caused me unbearable pain. My clothes were soaked in blood. I stayed under surveillance at the Hospital’s emergency room for five hours before finally returning home. My family members were impatiently waiting for me. Fear was apparent in their eyes. My little
sister Amani, 10 years old, was particularly afraid because she was witness to what had happened to me. As a result, she now gets up every night, feeling frightened.

Since the day I was assaulted, I have been staying at my home and do not leave as I still suffer from an intense pain in my waist that is making it difficult for me to move freely or walk for a long distance. Also, I cannot lie on my waist which is especially painful if I lie on it while sleeping during the night.

It should be noted that the Israeli Police knew about my injury as there was a rumour going on that I was in critical condition. The Police called the hospital and inquired about my health condition. However, I have not been informed that the Police launched an investigation about the Special Forces’ attack on me. I do not intend to go to the Israeli Police because I do not trust them. I heard that many residents of Silwan, who filed complaints to the Israeli Police about Israeli soldiers, were ignored. Like a popular Arabic proverb says: “Who can you complain to if the judge is your adversary”.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 6128/2011
  • Field researcher: Omarn Resheq
  • Affidavit Date: 12 March 2010
  • Name: Firas Salim Muhammad al-Rweidi
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