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Affidavit No. 6477/2011

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, Fares Ibrahim Muhammad Naser, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 933120156, born on 4 June 1962, Chairman of Deir Qiddis Village Council, and a resident of Deir Qiddis village, Ramallah governorate, would like to declare the following:

The Palestinian village of Deir Qiddis is 20 kilometres west of Ramallah. The village is home to 2,500 residents, many of whom work inside Israel and with the Palestinian Authority in order to make a living. The village’s land measures 9,500 dunums and the built-up area comprises 600 dunums.

The village has two problems: the Israeli settlement activity and the Annexation Wall. The problem of Israeli settlement activity started in 1981 when Israel constructed the first settlement outpost of Nili, two kilometres north of Deir Qiddis. Since then, the Israeli occupying forces have continued to confiscate land in the village. Today, there are five settlements constructed on Deir Qiddis’ land. The land confiscated for the benefit of these settlements is estimated at 6,000 dunums; including land confiscated to make way for the Wall. Israeli settlers assault the Palestinian village’s residents regularly. For instance, Palestinian shepherds have been attacked on several occasions when they came in close proximity to the settlements. The village residents are also prevented from harvesting olive crops on their lands that are seized by the Israeli authorities and surrounded with barbed wire and fences.

In 2004, the Israeli authorities began constructing the Wall at a distance of about three kilometres south of the village. The Wall has detached approximately 800 dunums of the village’s land and annexed it to the settlements of Modi’in ‘Ilit and Kiryat Sefer. As a result, people from the village have been forbidden from reaching their land in that area. Around 400 olive trees were cultivated on some of these lands that are also used for grazing sheep.

After the construction of the Wall began, the village residents commenced to organise popular events in protest against it. They also addressed the Israeli High Court in order to change the route of the Wall. Before any court decision, the Israeli authorities were going to level more than 2,000 dunums of the village’s land so as to make way for the route of the Wall. In 2007, however, the Israeli court issued a decision that changed the route of the Wall. Even though the route changed, the Wall is still built on land that is owned by the residents of Deir Qiddis which was occupied in 1967.

Popular activities organised by the people of Deir Qiddis include peaceful demonstrations joined by foreign and Israeli peace activists. Protestors usually march towards the Wall construction site. Despite the non-violent nature of these demonstrations, the Israeli military responds violently by firing tear gas and sound grenades as well as rubber-coated steel bullets.

On 15 June 2011 during a demonstration against the construction of the Wall, the Israeli occupying forces fired live bullets, injuring two men, 24 year-old Islam Nazih Naser, who sustained injuries in the chest and pelvis, and 22-year-old Wa’el ‘Abd-al-Qader Naser, who sustained a wound in the thigh.

Israeli occupying forces fire teargas directly at civilian homes during the weekly demonstrations and this often results in the injury of dozens of civilians who inhale it. Some teargas canisters penetrate through the glass windows of the houses; filling them with gas. The use of teargas canisters by the Israeli army has also caused fire to dozens of dunums of land. Israeli troops also purposely fire teargas directly on fields with dry grass, this makes it easier for fire to erupt.

The last demonstration organised in protest against the Wall and settlement activity took place on 29 June 2011. I participated in this demonstration. At around 5:00 pm, approximately 200 people gathered together, the protestors included men, women, international peace activists, and Palestinian government officials such as Maher Ghneim, Minister of State for Resistance against the Wall. Following the speeches that had been delivered, the village residents and I accompanied the government officials and foreign guests on a field tour to a site north of the village, near Nili settlement, where one of our lands was being levelled, most probably for the expansion of Nili settlement. The levelling of this land and the area around it had begun in June 2011. When we were at a distance of 200 metres from the land levelling site, the occupying forces, who had taken position on a hill, started to fire tear gas canisters without any warning.

Though people started to run away, tear gas cansiters continued to be fired. Some young men threw stones at the occupying forces. Confrontations lasted from around 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm. Then, the occupying troops raided the village, continued to fire tear gas grenades on civilian homes, and withdrew at a later time. This is a part of a reoccuring scene in the village. 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 6477/2011
  • Field researcher: Omarn Resheq
  • Affidavit Date: 19 July 2011
  • Name: Fares Ibrahim Muhammad Naser
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