Affidavit No. 2958/ 2006

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, 'Ali Ahmad 'Aref Hijjawi, holder of ID # 972165674, born 3 May 1962, an engineer and a resident of Nablus, Nablus Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am an engineer from Nablus, in the West Bank. In 1998, I was diagnosed with a disease called multiple sclerosis. Since then, I have spent US$100,000 on treatment. I appealed to the Palestinian Ministry of Health because I could no longer afford the high costs of medication and fortunately, the Ministry agreed to provide me with the medication, “AVONEX.” The medication comes in a box that contains four injections. I need one injection every week, which means that I need one box of AVONEX every month.

I received this assistance for a year, until February 2006. Then the Ministry of Health stopped providing me with the medicine because it is running out of stock due to the Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis. The pharmaceutical companies have stopped supplying the Palestinian Authority with medicines because of the debts it has accumulated. The situation has been complicated by the financial siege imposed on the government – and on the Palestinian people – by the United States and the European Union because of Hamas winning the second legislative elections on 25 January 2006. This siege has deeply affected me, as it has many other patients and sick people. Since March 2006, I have been buying medicine on credit from the pharmacy which I go to. I am 40,000 shekels in debt so far. I cannot stop taking the medication and it costs me US$1,200 a month.

In 2004, I established the Multiple Sclerosis Patients’ Friends Society, with the cooperation of doctors. Since the Society’s formation, 50 patients suffering from the disease have registered with it. A number of them used to receive the necessary medicine from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health, but as I mentioned above, the financial crisis and siege has made it impossible for the Ministry to provide patients with necessary medicines.

I am familiar with the circumstances of these patients. Some of them have sold their wives’ and daughters’ jewellery, some have sold their lands and others have borrowed money to pay for the medicine. If anyone with this disease stops taking the medicine, they will have serious problems that may lead to paralysis. It is also worth noting that a number of patients are unemployed because this disease affects the limbs.

The above-mentioned Society is based in Nablus and the patients registered with it are from the northern West Bank (Nablus, Jenin, Toulkarem and Qalqiliya governorates).

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 15 May 2006
Signature: 'Ali Hijjawi
Name not withheld
Field researcher: Manaf 'Abbas

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2958/ 2006
  • Field researcher: Manaf Abbas
  • Affidavit Date: 15 May 2006
  • Name: 'Ali Hijjawi