Affidavit No. 3900/2007

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, Reem Ahmad ‘Ali al-Sharif, of  Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 930154489, born on 9 October 1970, the principal of Qurtuba Primary School and resident of Hebron city, Hebron  Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I live with my family of seven, namely my children, my husband and my mother-in-law. I have been the principal of the Qurtuba Primary School, a mixed school located in the old city of Hebron, since early 2006. Currently, 119 male and female students are enrolled at the school, which is located on the other side of the settlement known as Beit Hadassa, and was established in the 70s. The school, including students and teachers, has been subjected to settlers’ attacks from time to time, and we have complained several times to the Israeli police.

When I arrived at the school grounds at around 7:15 am on 25 November 2007, I found that the basic wall, which is 67 metres long and 60 centimetres high, had been damaged. This wall was built by volunteer workers at the beginning of November this year. It is worth noting that the Red Crescent, in cooperation with The Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron, known as TIPH, restored the school, including the playground and garden; they installed new doors and protection for the school, repaired the electricity system and the wooden doors on the second floor, and built an extra room, made out of aluminium, for the secretary.

When I arrived at the school, I found that its door was broken and displaced and plants had been uprooted and were later found in a nearby area. As well, I found that the door leading to the classrooms had been attacked but they failed to force it open. The  damage was estimated at nearly 4,000 NIS. Only the main street separates the school from the settlement; nobody is accused of attacking our school besides the settlers who have repeatedly attacked our school. We have a night guard, Haytham al-Natsha, who is almost 24 years of age, but he was not present that night. He had phoned me at around 9:00 pm the same night to say he was going to his grandfather’s house for a mourning ceremony, and so there was no one at the school. There is an Israeli military post in the area, approximately 100 metres from the school, pointing a very strong light at the school. No one can reach the place at night except with a permit from the soldiers from the military post. This supports my assumption that the settlers attacked the school, as there are no Arab neighbours who could see the area of the school from their homes at night.

t is noteworthy that the school was also attacked on 6 August 2007, when a large number of its furniture was burnt at around 1:00 am. On that night, also, the guard had to leave for special reasons, and the Israeli police arrived while the furniture was in flames. The latest attack was on 25 November, when I also phoned the Israeli police. A team of them arrived and took affidavits from the citizens, the night guard, and me, and we all accused the settlers of attacking the school.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 5 December 2007.
Signature: Reem al-Sharif
Name not withheld
Field researcher: Zahi Jaradat

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 3900/2007
  • Field researcher: Zahi Jaradat
  • Affidavit Date: 5 December 2007
  • Name: Reem Ahmad ‘Ali al-Sharif