Affidavit No. 3010/2006

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, Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Sitta Suleiman al-Dir'awi, holder of ID # 995287828, born on 5 December 1947, an employee at the Minister of Planning and a resident of al-Nu'man village, Bethlehem Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 27 May 2006 at approximately 5:00 pm I was returning home with my wife, daughter and friend’s wife. As I arrived at the village gate where a number of soldiers were positioned, I asked the soldiers to let me through the gate. The soldiers agreed to let me pass through the gate with all the persons in my car as long as the address on my ID was al-Nu'man village. There were cement blocks at the gate and the soldiers told us to remove them if we wanted to pass, adding that they were not going to move the cement blocks. I moved these blocks with the help of the women who were with me in the car and we passed through the gate. On that day we arrived at home at around 7:00 pm.

On Friday 2 June 2006, I was returning from Bethlehem in my own car in which I was carrying vegetables, fruit and a 60 kilogram sack of flour. As I arrived at the village gate, the soldiers who were positioned at the gate asked me to open the car boot. I did. The soldiers took all the vegetables and fruit and put them down on the ground and when I protested about what they were doing, they said they were doing it for security reasons. Then one of the soldiers poked his gun barrel in the flour sack in many places which resulted in the flour being scattered. This act aggravated me because I felt it was unnecessary for security as I was merely moving from one West Bank village to another. Moreover, entering al-Nu'man village did not mean in any way that I could reach Israel.

On 9 June 2006 at around 11:00 am, I left my village and headed to Beit Sahour and Bethlehem to perform my Friday prayer. Before I went, my family told me that our gas canister was empty; so I put it in my car and left home. As I reached the gate, I found a number of the border guard soldiers who inspected my car. They saw the gas canister and told me that it was against the law and that they would not let me return with the canister. When I asked why, one of the soldiers said that he could not be sure that I filled the canister with gas and not with anything else. When I told him that I did not have another gas canister in my home, he answered that it was not his problem and that he was carrying out his orders and would not let me pass through the gate.

Moreover, children and students in particular have been harassed and disrupted since the construction of the gate. Three weeks ago, on 28 May 2006, while my son Anas (who is 14 years old) was going to school, the soldiers asked for his identity card. When he told them that he was under age, they told him to go home and bring his birth certificate with him, and they did not let him pass until he had done so. On that day, he reached school an hour and a half late. Al-Nu'man village does not have any schools and depends on using the schools in al-Khas for the education of its children.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 15 June 2006
Signature: Ibrahim Dir'awi

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 3010/2006
  • Field researcher: Manaf Abbas
  • Affidavit Date: 15 June 2006
  • Name: Ibrahim Dir'awi