Affidavit No. 4365/2008

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, Hani ‘Abd-al-Latif Hasan Darawsha, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 926207341, born on 21 November 1971, member on a municipal council and a resident of the 'Awarta village, Nablus Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 24 July 2008, I was in the office of the 'Awarta Village Council, in my capacity as a Council member. At about 4:30 pm, I received a call on the Council’s telephone. The person calling told me that he was a resident of the village. As he was crossing the Huwwara checkpoint he saw Mr. Yousef Qawariq, a field researcher at Al-Haq, detained in a small room at the checkpoint. As a member of the Village Council, I am acquainted with Yousef. Also, we often request assistance from Al-Haq during the olive harvest season and ask them to bring foreign peace activists to support us.

Most of the land is located east of our village near the settlement of Itamar. Settlers always impede access to our land. We also contact Yousef and Al-Haq to learn about citizens detained by the occupying authorities or to report human rights violations. Therefore, I went to the checkpoint and arrived there within 20 minutes. I then moved to the lane east of the checkpoint, which citizens walk along to access Nablus. The lane is only seven metres away from the room where detained citizens are kept.

Yousef was there. I immediately stopped and called out to him. He could see me as the door was made of wire. I asked him why he was detained and since what time. He told me that he had been detained since 2:00 pm and did not know why. While we were talking, an Israeli officer positioned at the checkpoint arrived and stopped in front of the room. He talked with Yousef, but I could not hear what they were talking about. About two minutes later, the officer went back to the checkpoint, to its western side.

I asked Yousef what happened. He replied that the officer said that his work ID featured errors. I went to talk to that officer; he was in regular military uniform, around 40 years of age, bald and had vine-leaf insignias on his shoulders. When I was two metres away, I asked in Hebrew, which I am fluent in, if I could talk to him. He agreed. I introduced myself as a member of 'Awarta village council. He said that the Israeli Liaison Office often called the council, but no one responded. "What has brought you up here?" he asked. "Mr. Yousef Qawariq," I answered. I asked him,

"Why are you detaining him? He has been working as a human rights activist for several years. Like foreign activists, he helps people at checkpoints. He does not have any security problems." The officer admitted that Yousef did not have any security problems, but that he was not like foreign activists at checkpoints. According to the officer, there were errors in his work ID. "There are also problems in the type of his work," the officer went on. "He always searches for our news and reports information against us in the news." The officer then told me that Yousef would be allowed to leave the checkpoint within minutes. After a two-minute conversation, I left the officer. Approximately five minutes later, I saw another officer go to the room in which Yousef was detained. He opened the door and gave Yousef his ID card. Mr. Yousef came out and we left the checkpoint towards the village of 'Awarta.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4365/2008
  • Field researcher: Yousef Qawareiq
  • Affidavit Date: 8 August 2008
  • Name: Hani ‘Abd-al-Latif Hasan Darawsha