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Affidavit No. 4022/2008

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, Hamdan ‘Abd-al-Rahim ‘Abd-al-Mun’m Fayyad, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 935030221, born on 11 August 1954, unemployed and a resident of al-Zanna village- al-Qarara, Khan Younes Governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am Hamdan ‘Abd-al-Rahim ‘Abd-al-Mun’m Fayyad, 54 years, married and a father of seven sons and five daughters. I live in al-Zanna village in al-Qarara east of Khan Younes Governorate. On Thursday 1 January 2008 at around 8:15 am, I was with my second wife in our twofloor house located on open land in the al-Hiker region in al-Zanna village. At that time I was observing the Israeli occupation invasion in the area, which had started at 2:30 am of that same day. I saw approximately seven tanks and two bulldozers coming from the east. My home is located only two kilometres from the eastern borders of the lands controlled by the Israeli army. Living in that area, we are used to Israeli invasions and the sneaking in of the members of the Israeli undercover unit and Israeli soldiers.

I saw tanks and bulldozers positioned on my 20-dunum agricultural land, which is planted with cactus bushes and vegetables. I saw the bulldozers razing the land and the tanks directing their cannons towards my house and the houses of other members of my family. At around 7:30 am of the same day, I saw the soldiers deployed among the olive trees
planted on the land of my neighbour, Abu-Hajras. I also heard intensive firing coming from among the trees. I looked west in the direction of my second two-floor house in which my first wife and children live. This house is located 50 metres from my second wife’s house from where I was watching. I saw my son Ahmad, 32, standing in the vicinity of that house and looking east in the direction of where the tanks were positioning. Then I heard the noise of a shell landing near Ahmad and I saw smoke rising from that same place.

After a few moments, I saw my second son Sami, 29, going out of the house towards the place where Ahmad had been standing. I heard the noise of another shell landing on the same spot where the first shell had landed. Again, smoke rose from the same place. I heard a third shell penetrating Sami’s room located in the east side of the house.

Directly after the firing of the third shell, I saw my first wife Karima, 60 years old and my 24 year old daughter Asma’ leaving the house. The occupying forces opened fire on them. I heard my wife and daughter screaming in the vicinity of the place where Ahmad and Sami were lying on the ground. All of a sudden, I saw my wife and daughter stop screaming and falling to the ground, just in front of the entrance of the house.

I tried to reach the place where my family members had fallen to the ground but I could not because the Israeli soldiers started firing at me from among the trees, 30 metres away from my place. Then I saw around 10 young persons from the neighbourhood trying to reach my wife, daughter and sons to provide them with first aid. But due the intensity of firing, they could not reach them. The firing further targeted an ambulance that was coming to their rescue and hit my 28 year old son Muhammad, and my 17 year old nephew Muhammad Khdeir Fayyad, while they were trying to rescue my wife.

The young people were finally able to carry my wife and sons to an ambulance that was positioned on a side street, 30 metres away from the location of the incident. After around half an hour, I received a phone call from my son Islam who is 24 years old and  had accompanied the ambulance to Naser Hospital. He told me that my wife Karima and my children Ahmad, Sami and Asma, as well as my nephew Muhammad, had died. I waited until 2:00 pm, when the occupying forces withdrew from the area, and went to my first wife’s house. I was in shock when I saw their body parts spread all over the house and in Sami’s room. Then I went to the hospital to receive the corpses of my other wife, as well as my sons, daughter and nephew. I buried them in Khan Younes cemetery in the afternoon of the following day.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4022/2008
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 5 January 2008
  • Name: Hamdan ‘Abd-al-Rahim ‘Abd-al-Mun’m Fayyad