Affidavit No. 6790/2011

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, Amer Mohammed Al-Sabi’ Abu Halima, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 916104334, born on 21 August 1967, a farmer, and a resident of Al-Sifa area/ Beit Lahiya, North Gaza, would like to declare the following:

I live in Al-‘Atatra neighborhood in Al-Sifa area, northwest of Beit Lahiya in North Gaza. I lease an agricultural land with a total area of 27 dunums, owned by Mr. Nathir Muhanna in the same area of Al-Sifa around one kilometer in the middle of an agricultural area, and away from the northern borders of Beit Lahiya with the lands of 1948 controlled by the Israeli occupying forces. I have been taking care of this land for several years now where I plant strawberries, carrots and onions. I work on this land everyday assisted by my son Muhammad (22 years old), in addition to another six workers, of whom I know the following: Nasr Ibrahim Eilayan, Rami Ghaban and Mayyad Ghaban. These workers are paid about NIS 30-40 per day for working from 7:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening. Almost on a daily basis I collect workers together with my son Mohammed and take them in my car to the agricultural land that is about three kilometers away from where we live.

On Thursday 03 November 2011 at about 6:30 am, I went to the agricultural land as usual together with my son Muhammad and other workers to take care of some strawberry plants and to wrap them in nylon bags in order to protect them from strong winds and heavy rain during the approaching winter. Once we had arrived, we saw large numbers of workers and farmers working on their leased lands located next to ours, specifically on Khlaiel land and the rest of the Nathir Muhanna lands in a peaceful environment without any problems, so we started working in the land. After about three hours of work I left the workers and the land in order to go collect some money and distribute among the workers since Eid Al-Adha was approaching, and to prepare lunch for my son Mohammed and the rest of the workers.

When I left the land at about 10:00 am, I heard the sound of sporadic shooting on the northern borders of Beit Lahiya, which is about one kilometer away from our agricultural land. Neither I nor the rest of the workers were too worried because of this, since we were used to hearing the sound of the Israeli occupying forces’ gunfire coming from the other side of the border.

So I returned to my home and had some rest after working in the agricultural land. I took care of some errands at home and sat with my wife and my children. At about 13:10 in the afternoon of the same day, while I was preparing to return to the land to bring lunch to my son Mohammed and the rest of the workers, I received a call on my cell phone from one of our neighbors, informing me that my son Muhammad had been injured while working in the land as a result of Israeli shelling and shooting on our land and the lands surrounding it. I immediately put on my clothes and left quickly towards the land on a motorcycle with a metal cart "Tuktuk” attached to it.

When I approached the land, I saw ambulances getting out of the area and heading quickly towards Kamal ‘Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, and I heard people say that there had been martyrs killed as a result of the bombing targeting some of the agricultural lands. At that time, I was very worried about my son Muhammad, and followed ambulances to the Hospital. When I arrived at there, doctors confirmed the death of my son Muhammad and Nasr Ibrahim ‘Ilayan, who was the same age as my son Muhammad and had been working with us for about three months taking care of the land for NIS 30 a day.

I saw the corpse of my son Muhammad and of Nasr charred and torn into pieces. Then the doctors ordered the transfer of the two dead bodies into the Hospital’s morgues. Then I called my children and told them the news of the death of my son Muhammad. After that, I received the body of my son Mohammed and carried it with hundreds of citizens from the Hospital to the cemetery near our house "Sifa Cemetery", and buried him and Nasr. We used the space in front of our house to receive mourners.

My son Mohammed was married and had a three months old infant. He lived with us in the family house and had been working with me in agriculture for years. He was not affiliated to any political or military party.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 14 November 2011

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 6790/2011
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 14 November 2011
  • Name: Amer Mohammed Al Sabi’ Abu Halima
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