Affidavit No. 2985/2006

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, Zahira Bilal Yousef Abu al-Rub, holder of ID # 850613712, born on 4 June 1987, a housewife and a resident of Qabatiya town, Jenin Governorate, would like to declare the following:

At around 1:30 pm on Sunday, 14 May 2006, the Israeli army raided Qabatiya town, south of Jenin. The soldiers besieged a house in the Kmeil quarter, claiming that there were two wanted persons in it. Fierce confrontations took place in the area.

I was inside my house in the Abu al-Rub quarter in Qabatiya. The Israeli soldiers and jeeps spread throughout the town and a military jeep positioned itself just ten metres east of my home. This made me fearful and anxious even though the soldiers did not get down from the jeep. From time to time, I cautiously looked through the window to see what was going on.

At 3:00 pm, I heard someone shouting outside and in front of my home, “If you are men, get down from the jeep!” I looked through a small hole in the door of my home and I saw, less than three metres away, a young man named Tha'er Hanaysha (23 years old), from Qabatiya, who was wanted by the Israeli army. He was armed. I was looking through a keyhole of the outside door. Tha’er was sheltering behind a wall in a small alley south of our home. The jeep was not visible to me because it was east of me and ten metres from both me and Tha'er. I was looking at Tha'er, who was preparing to shoot at the jeep. As soon as he stretched up his head and his weapon to shoot at the jeep, the Israeli soldiers immediately opened fire on him. They shot one or two bullets at Tha’er Hanayisha and he was hit in the head from the front. He fell on his stomach, facedown. He had not shot at the jeep. It seems that Tha'er died immediately because I saw him lying motionless while a pool of blood spread around him. The soldiers did not fire at Tha'er again or approach him, and the jeep stayed in place.

Tha'er was alone at the time he was shot. After 20 minutes at most, I saw Tha'er’s brother, Isma'il (19 years old) running through the same alley south of me toward his brother. He came close to Tha’er despite the presence of the jeep; it appeared that he was trying to pull him to the alley. I saw Isma'il grabbing Tha'er’s feet to drag him. Suddenly, and without any warning, I heard at least one bullet. Yes, the soldiers in the same jeep to the east had shot a bullet at Isma’il from a distance of ten metres and hit him in the neck. He fell down beside his brother. This scene happened less than three metres from me.

Right away, a man named 'Abd-al-Rahman al-'Ali (17 years old), a secondary student and resident of the same quarter, came close to Isma'il despite the severe danger and dragged him toward the alley. The soldiers did not shoot. 'Abd-al-Rahman dragged Isma'il about five metres southward. Meanwhile, I saw another jeep come to the beginning of the southern alley – the small alley mentioned before. When 'Abd-al-Rahman saw it, he left Isma'il and ran away. Isma'il remained alone on his back on the ground, in the middle of the street. At that point he was only eight metres south of me, and the jeep stopped at the beginning of the street, 12 metres from me and five metres from Isma'il.

Isma’il was injured and bleeding but still alive and was making sounds indicating that he was in pain. He was not armed and his only concern had been to rescue his
brother. I saw the driver of the jeep, an ordinary army vehicle, get out and aim his pistol at Isma'il. The soldier was medium-sized, blonde, and wore a helmet on his head and a full military uniform. I was shocked when I saw the soldier start shooting at Isma’il from a distance of no more than five metres. He was shooting while walking toward Isma’il. He shot at least three bullets and then I saw him get into the jeep and it left. The other jeep that was positioned to the east remained.

It was a very painful scene. Isma'il was executed. He was unarmed and lying on the ground, bleeding and shouting from pain as a result of his first injury. The soldier fired at Isma'il’s head, which caused his brains to splatter on the ground and the surrounding walls. This scene is difficult to remember and explain. The jeep did not leave right away; it left after five minutes. I saw all of this through a keyhole in the outside door: it is a small hole but because it is for an old key, it is relatively large. My heart was pounding from terror and the severity of this event.

About five minutes after the jeep that the soldier who shot Isma’il had gotten down from left, I saw my neighbour Hiyam Abu al-Rub (50 years old) heading toward Tha'er Hanaysha, accompanied by some women. The shooting at Tha'er resumed but despite the danger, Hiyam was able to move Tha'er’s body westward, where her house is. Isma'il remained on the ground until the Israeli army left around 5:00 pm, when a number of young men carried him to a Palestinian ambulance. As you see, the spots of blood are still on the ground and Isma’il’s blood and hair are still on the walls of this alley. It is very painful to see two brothers killed beside each other, but the most difficult sight was the execution of Isma'il Hanaysha.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 20 May 2006
Signature: Zahira Abu al-Rub
Name not withheld
Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 2998/2006
  • Field researcher: Tahsin E'leiyyan
  • Affidavit Date: 20 May 2006
  • Name: Zahira Abu al-Rub