Affidavit No. 3082/2006

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, Tareq Badawi Isma'il Ghneimat, holder of ID # 851800615, Palestinian Nationality, born 17 June 1989, a student in grade twelve and a resident of Sourif village, Hebron Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I live with my family in Sourif. My family consists of nine people. I am a student and next year I’ll be in the final year of school.

On 20 June 2006, at around 6:00 pm, I went to the field owned by my family in the Wadi Sour area, which is adjacent to the Separation Wall constructed west of Sourif. The area of this field is approximately one dunum and it is planted with vegetables like okra and Egyptian cucumber. When I reached our land, I started to pick the vegetable crops. Beside our land, there were a number of Palestinian citizens picking crops from their fields, including some of my relatives who I had gone to the field with. This field is approximately five kilometres away from my home. My relatives who went with me include Baha' Mousa 'Isa Ghneimat (14 years old), Tha'er Khaled Ghneimat (17 years old) and Ra'fat Majd Ghneimat (15 years old). We were in the field together.

After around half an hour, I saw a number of workers heading toward us in the direction of the Wall. I believe it was eight or nine people, and I noticed that they were trying to cross west of the Wall and then they ran rapidly away in the fields. Immediately, I saw an Israeli military vehicle approaching. The Wall is around 200 metres from my land, to the west. In the part near our land, the Wall is made of mesh, not cement, and there is a gate in it. The gate was controlled by the Israeli soldiers. I saw the military vehicle approaching; the gate opened for it and it continued toward us. I also saw the same workers running in the fields away from the soldiers. I also saw them throw away the bags that they were carrying.

I thought that no harm would be inflicted on me because I just remained in my field and did not run away. I was picking the crops when the military vehicle known as a Hummer approached me. A number of soldiers got out of the vehicle and started to call me and my other relatives who were with me in the field. I went closer to the soldiers and one of them started to talk to me in Hebrew, which I do not understand. Then the soldier grabbed me and threw me down on the ground. I felt pain in my leg. As I tried to get up, the same soldier pushed me and my head hit the ground. Then the soldiers gathered my other relatives (Baha', Tha'er and Ra'fat), in addition to another person (Muhammad 'Umar Ghneimat, 17 years old) who was present in his field nearby. They ordered us to sit on the ground and they kicked us from time to time. This continued for approximately half an hour.

Meanwhile, the number of Israeli soldiers increased, as many military and non-military vehicles arrived at the place. The soldiers took us to the gate, where a person dressed in civilian clothes came. The person was armed and was carrying a pair of wire cutters. The person accused me of trying to cross the mesh, but that was not correct and I denied the accusation. The soldier took me behind the military vehicle and kicked me in more than one place, especially on my head. I felt pain and dizziness and started to shout out loud. The soldier continued to beat me for five minutes. The armed civilian was speaking Arabic and he told me that he was a watchman and an Arab and he asked me to confess which person had been carrying the wire cutters. I told him that we were picking the crops and we are all students and do not work in Israel. I heard him addressing my relatives and accusing them of carrying the wire cutters. When they denied the accusation, the soldiers took them behind the vehicle one by one and beat them. I heard their shouts while they were being beaten.

After that, the soldiers ordered us to get into a car (a Toyota) that was parked near the gate and that I knew belonged to the watchman, who drove it while Muhammad 'Umar, Ra'fat and I sat in the back seat and another two sat in the front seat. We were taken to a well known military checkpoint. The checkpoint is between the villages of Sourif and al-Jaba’a. We got out of the car and the car left. The soldiers took us five young men to the military base. They did not blindfold us or handcuff us. They put us together in a room, and ordered us to put our heads on the ground while we were kneeling. They gave us these orders in Hebrew, which we do not understand, and then in weak Arabic. We remained there until 2:00 am the next day, in this position. During that period, we were continuously beaten. As a result of the beating, I lost  consciousness, and when I woke up I heard the screaming of the others. I received another blow that caused me to lose consciousness again. I woke up when the beating had stopped. I thought I was going to die. I was in so much pain and so exhausted that I could not even shout.

The soldiers ordered us to stand, but I could not. One of the soldiers lifted me by force onto my feet. I looked at my watch and noticed that it was 2:00 am. I felt dizzy and looked at my relatives, who were in a condition similar to mine. One of the soldiers blindfolded me with a piece of cloth and handcuffed my hands behind me with plastic cuffs. They kept us standing for a time while we were very tired and exhausted. Then we heard a car coming. A soldier pulled me and ordered me to lift my leg, and I tried but could not because I was very tired and in severe pain. As I tried to lift my leg, I almost fell down but a soldier grabbed me, carried me and threw me on the floor of the car, on a metallic surface. I felt dizzier but I did not lose consciousness. Another soldier came and sat me in the back seat of the car. I felt that someone was sitting beside me. I could not recognize him but I thought that he was one of my relatives and I did not even have the strength to talk to him. I was so weak and unable to utter one word.

The car moved. I did not know what direction it moved in. I estimate the distance to be between three and five kilometres. It stopped and I was let out of it. I walked beside somebody who held my hand but I did not know where we were heading. I entered a room, and there my eyes were uncovered and my hands were uncuffed. I felt severe pain in my hands as a result of lack of blood flow.

The soldiers took us one by one; I did not know where to. When my turn came, I was taken to a room where an unarmed civilian was sitting. He gave me a form in Hebrew and Arabic and asked me to sign it. The form included questions about my health condition. I signed it and returned to the previous room.
After we had all signed the form, at approximately 4:15 am, the soldiers ordered us to get into a car. We were again blindfolded. The car moved and we were taken to the military checkpoint between Sourif and al-Jaba'a, where we had been beaten by the Israeli soldiers. (I realized this when the soldier uncovered my eyes, and then covered them again.) I was beaten again, as before. I believe that I received hundreds of blows from the soldiers on that bad night. Then the soldiers ordered us to stand, uncovered my eyes and my relatives’ eyes, and ordered us to leave.

I looked at my watch; it was around 6:00 am. I walked away from the soldiers. I was frightened and did not look behind me, but I was very slow. I was very tired and had pains in all parts of my body and specifically in my legs. The distance between the checkpoint and Sourif, my village, is around 3 kilometres. It took us three hours to reach our village, although it normally takes me much less time to walk the distance.

On the same day, I went to Hebron Governmental Hospital. After examining me, the doctors said that I had bruises all over my body. I submitted a complaint to the Palestinian police and returned home.

I am still suffering from pain in my back, leg, head and neck. I found out afterwards that we had been in 'Atsion Centre, which is a centre for the Israeli civil administration. I discovered this through a letter I received informing me that I had to meet with the 'Atsion police on 21 June 2006. I did not go because of my health situation.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 3 July 2006
Signature: Tareq Badawi
Name not withheld
Field researcher: Zahi Jaradat

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 3082/2006
  • Field researcher: Zahi Jaradat
  • Affidavit Date: 3 July 2006
  • Name: Tareq Badawi
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