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Affidavit No. 3433/2007

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, Jihan Nimer Shaher Da'doush, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 859759847, born on 3 October 1995, a sixth grade student and a resident Nablus Old City, Nablus Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 28 February 2007, I was at home with my father Nimer, who is 37-years-old, my mother Tahani, who is 37-years-old, my brother Muhammad who is 16-years-old and my sister Hanan who is 15-years-old. We live on the second floor of an old building, which is located in Nablus Old City. The second floor of the building consists of several rooms, located next to each other. My grandfather Shaher and his wife Huda live in a house near the entrance to the backyard of our building.

At approximately 8:00 am, at which time all of us were awake and in our rooms because of the curfew imposed by the Israeli army, especially on the old city of Nablus, we heard the voices of Israeli soldiers. I did not understand the language they were speaking. They were knocking on the doors of houses in the neighbourhood where we live. Therefore, we expected them to knock on our door as well.

My father Nimer opened the main door, which is located on the north-western side of the house. A few minutes later, we were surprised to see more than ten soldiers, wearing military uniforms and helmets and carrying long guns, entering the house. My father approached them and started speaking a language that I do not understand. After a short conversation with the soldiers, my father informed us that the soldiers wanted to search the house and were asking us to gather in one room, which we did.

After searching the house for half an hour, the soldiers moved to my grandfather's house in order to search it. A few minutes later we saw them leaving. However, they remained in the backyard, which is inhabited by other families. We continued to hear the soldiers’ voices and movement until 5:00 pm when they returned to us. There were approximately 15 soldiers. Some of them had their faces blackened, and all of them were wearing military uniforms and helmets and were holding long guns.

After they entered the house, my father approached them and spoke to them. A few minutes after the conversation, my father informed us that they wanted all of us to once again gather in one room and that they intended to remain in the house. We did what they asked and gathered in the northern room, while the soldiers controlled two other rooms in the house. We could see their movements, as our own movement inside the house was not entirely restricted.

At approximately 8:00 pm, one of the soldiers, whose face was covered, approached us. He was distinguishable from the others as he was wearing a blue bullet-proof vest over his military uniform. I guess that he was at most 30-years-old. He was very big and had a light-brown complexion. This soldier pointed to my father with his finger and asked him to accompany him outside the room. My father did as requested.

After a 15 minute conversation in a language that I do not understand, my father returned to us. The soldier looked at us and then pointed his finger at my sister Hanan, asking her to go with him. They stood at the same spot where the soldier and my father had stood earlier. After a few minutes, Hanan returned to us. Then, the soldier pointed to me and asked me to come with him. I was terrified. I was taken to the backyard, which is located downstairs and in front of my grandfather's house. I stood between several armed soldiers whose faces were blackened. I was standing there for several minutes before my mother came to me. As I have previously mentioned, our movement in the house was not entirely restricted. Thus, my mother was able to reach me. She took my hand and, without being obstructed by the soldiers, we went to my grandfather's house, which lies directly parallel to our own. At approximately 8:30 pm, the soldier who had previously pointed me out came to us. He was accompanied by another soldier with a similar uniform and helmet, and who was not more than thirty-years-old. Once again, the solider pointed at me and told me to go outside. I was terrified and starting crying. My father was able to see me from where he was standing. I was shouting, "Dad, help me."
My father told the soldier that I have a heart defect, and that I have been sick since my childhood. In addition to a closed vein, I have a hole in my heart. For this reason, I have to go for a medical check-up every six months. However, in spite of my crying and screaming, the only thing I heard from the soldier was, "Be quiet." Thus, I had no choice but to go outside and stand in the same yard as before. I was very scared and still crying when the other soldier, who was accompanying the one in the blue vest, spoke to me. He told me that the man in the blue vest, who was the captain, wanted to know the location of the tunnels in the neighbourhood. He also wanted to know the location of the young men.

I told him that I had no idea. He translated this for the captain, and then told me, “If you don’t tell us we are going to take you to prison.” As a result of this threat and the harsh situation I was in, I had no choice but to tell them about a house located approximately 50 metres away from ours to the south-east. This house lies parallel to Jadallah's house, and I know that it was previously inhabited by wanted men. After I told them this, the soldier asked me to lead them to the house. I started walking towards the house. In the beginning, we walked without any lights. There were twenty soldiers walking behind me until we arrived near the house, which is an old building. The first and second floors were inhabited, while the third, which I was pointing out, was not.

Then, the soldier started asking me how they could get to the third floor and I told him that they could use the external staircase. Some of the soldiers were spread out around the house. Others were standing on the staircase, while others remained standing beside me. I stood there for approximately twenty minutes. I was then brought home by two of the soldiers, one of whom walked in front of me while the other walked behind me. These two soldiers' faces were painted black. They brought me to a room where more than ten soldiers with blackened faces were sitting.

I sat on a couch in the room. After a few minutes, one of the soldiers came and sat near me. I sat there for approximately 30 minutes. During this time, nobody touched me or asked me any question. However, I was terrified all the time. Then, the solider who had spoken Arabic to me earlier came and asked me to go with him to the house to which I had led the soldiers. He was accompanied by two soldiers whose faces were painted black. I said that I had already told him everything I knew and then I burst into tears. He told me: "Do not be afraid, we are with you."

Two soldiers walked ahead of me and two walked behind me until we arrived to the aforementioned house. Several soldiers were standing around, including the captain, who introduced himself as being from the intelligence service. They then asked me the same questions as before, such as how the soldiers could enter the house and what was upstairs. I answered that they should use the external staircase, which leads to the inside of the house as well as to it’s roof. Then, the soldiers divided into several groups. The one who spoke Arabic went with soldiers to the staircase. Another group went to the roof while I and a number of other soldiers stood at the entrance of the house.

The door to the house was open and I stood at the entrance along with some soldiers. Some of them, who had torches in their hands, went inside the house. Fifteen minutes later, the soldier who spoke Arabic returned. I asked him to bring me home to my family. He then asked me if I knew other places to guide them to, and I said that I didn’t. Then, he and another soldier brought me home.

When we arrived to the house and before I entered it, he asked me not to tell anyone what had happened and then left with the others. I entered the room where my family was. I was scared and confused and could not believe that I had returned home safely. My family members and I remained inside one of the house's rooms, because of the presence of the Israeli soldiers in the other rooms. The soldiers finally withdrew at 3:00 am. I am terrified and scared that they will return to take me once again.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 3433/2007
  • Field researcher: Yousef Qawareiq
  • Affidavit Date: 12 March 2007
  • Name: Jihan Nimer Shaher Da'doush