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Affidavit No. 4364/2008

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, Marwan Khaled Saleh al-Khalili, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 945970630, born on 6 July 1945, unemployed and a resident of al-Makhfiyya neighbourhood, Nablus city, Nablus Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On Sunday, 3 August 2008, I left the city of Amman after I had returned on the same day from Saudi Arabia, which I performed the 'Umrah (minor pilgrimage to the holy shrines in the city of Mecca). I travelled to the Palestinian crossing point at the Jericho Bridge to come back to the city of Nablus. At about 3:00 pm, I arrived at the Bridge. Usually, Palestinian Police officers take passengers' ID cards after they arrive. A Police officer took the ID cards, including mine. About ten minutes later, a Police officer climbed on the bus and called "Marwan al-Khalili". After I responded, he asked me to step down. The officer walked with me for several metres, then directed me into a room beside the Bridge. Four persons in Police and civil uniforms were present in the room.

"What about Marwan?" the Police officer asked. A person replied that I was wanted by the Preventive Security agency. They treated me nicely. About two minutes later, the Police officer took me to the Preventive Security office, which was approximately 20 metres away from the room, and guided me into a room. Several minutes later, a person in civil uniform appeared and sat to the desk. His name was inscribed on the desk, but I do not remember it now. "You are arrested by the Preventive security agency", he told me. I immediately requested that he allows me to inform my son Khaled, but he refused. "You may not be arrested. It might be a case of identical names, though", he went on.

About two minutes after I had entered the room, he requested that I wait outside. I did and sat on a chair outside the office. About ten minutes later, a jeep belonging to the Palestinian Authority arrived. A number of soldiers in official army uniform stepped down, put me on a rear seat onboard the jeep, and informed me that they would transport me to their Headquarters in the city of Jericho. Within minutes, I was there. I was forced to step down from the jeep. They guided me into a corridor at the Headquarters. I was seated on a chair beside toilets. A military officer stayed beside me and treated me so nicely. Then, he called another person and requested that he come. In minutes, the person, who was in civil uniform arrived, and took my personal belongings. He also told me that I was under his custody until the Director tells him what to do with me. After he left for about a minute, he returned and told me to come along with him. He took me to a reception room and ordered me to sit down on a chair.

He started to talk to me about the West Bank, Gaza and Hamas. "Dr. Naser al-Sha’er, Dr. Samir Abu-'Eisha and Dr. ‘Ali al-Sartawi and I visited President Abu-‘Ammar's tomb in al-Muqata'a. We put a wreath of flowers on the tomb. We always call for unity. Regardless of all what happened in Gaza, we do not have any option other than unity." I spoke out. He listened to me so respectfully and did never abuse me. "Hajj, you are wanted by the Preventive Security agency in Ramallah," he said almost ten minutes later. A Volkswagen car arrived in less than five minutes. As I was taken out to the car, the officer talked to driver, who was alone: "The Hajj is a respectable man and a leader in Hamas. No one may abuse him." The officer called another security officer and gave him the same orders. Then, he allowed me to call my son Khaled and tell him I was arrested. The car moved and in an hour or so, we arrived at Ramallah. I stepped down from the car at the Preventive Security Headquarters. A security officer came and took my personal belongings.

Thereafter, a number of security officers in military uniform took me to a room. There, a military physician asked if I suffered from any illnesses. "Yes," I replied, "I have cholesterol, for which I take medicine. I also take blood liquefacient pills. In the past, I had a heart attack; my heart muscle, therefore, is weak. I also suffer from an infection in the prostate gland." I explained. Meanwhile, Officer Abu-’Uday came in. I was acquainted with Abu-’Uday when he was employed in the city of Nablus. I often visited him to talk about detained member of Hamas. We knew each other well. He was from the town of Qabatiya.

This time, however, he was of bad manners and ignored me, which I exactly did. He told the physician that my health condition was like a rock and that I did not have any disorders. After the physician examined my health condition, he told security officers around me that a bottle of water should always be with me since I need water continuously. Then, Abu-’Uday took me to the Shabeh. He made me sit on a wooden chair, with holes in its back. He talked to other security officers, but I could not hear him well. Moments later, my hands were shackled behind my back with iron handcuffs. A bag was also put over my head. I told the officer who put the bag that I was sick and could not stand it, so he lifted it above my nose. I was subjected to the Shabeh in the manner explained for several hours. As a result, my hands swelled because the handcuffs were tight. As I complained, a guard replaced the iron handcuffs with a piece of cloth, but kept my hands behind my back. For a whole day,

I was forced into this position – under the Shabeh with my hands shackled behind my back and the bag put over my head. Only at times of prayers and meals, my shackles were removed for about ten minutes. When I requested, I was allowed to drink water and go to the toilet. On the second day, the piece of cloth on my hands was replaced with iron handcuffs again. I requested the officer to place my hands straight, not behind my back, but he rejected. On the same day, I was taken to a room on the second floor. The bag and handcuffs were removed. I was then requested to sit down on a chair. In the room was an officer in civil uniform. He started to question me about Hamas and the money which I brought for Hamas. I completely denied it. "We are not in a hurry and you will talk." he commented.

Minutes later, I was taken back to the Shabeh in the same manner. Still with iron handcuffs and my hands behind my back, the bag, however, was replaced with a blindfold. I should note that in 1990, I was arrested by the Israeli occupying forces. Then, I confessed I was a member of Hamas and that I entered money to it. Another day of the Shabeh elapsed. It was the third day. Meanwhile, I suffered from pain in all parts of my body. I felt my feet swell. I told the security personnel around me of my condition. An hour or less later, my hands were united and the blindfold removed. I was guided to the room of the physician, who examined me first. He checked my health condition, conducted a cardiograph and gave me several types of pills, which I took. Then, he prescribed several drugs for treatment of the disorders I mentioned earlier. He also decided that I take a laxative as I did not defecate for three days. He also prescribed medicine to treat my swollen legs, which he ascribed to sitting on the chair and lack of walking. The medicine was given to guards, so that they give it to me on time. An hour later, the guards took me back to the Shabeh in the same position. I was subjected to the Shabeh for another day – until Wednesday afternoon. During that time, handcuffs and the blindfold were removed for about ten minutes only at times of prayers and meals. I was also allowed to drink water and go to the toilet when I requested. At about 4:00 pm on the said day, Abu-’Uday (whom I mentioned earlier) came in. "You have not slept all this period long, Abu-Khaled, noteven for ten minutes." he said. "No, not even a second," I replied, "When I try to sleep for a while, your guards would call me as to exhaust me and keep me awake."

Then, he left. Although I was blindfolded and handcuffed, I could distinguish his voice. An hour or so later, the guards removed the blindfold and handcuffs. They also fetched a mattress smelling bad into a cell beside the room, in which I was held. They said I could sleep on the mattress. "It is stinking and smells of urine. It should be replaced," I protested. My demand was not answered. Exhausted as I was, I entered the cell, which measured one metre in length and two metres in width. The door was left open so that I could go to the toilet and access water for ablution. I fell fast asleep and I woke up later.

I asked guards if the sunset call to prayer was announced. I performed ablution and prayers inside the cell. The guards also brought a meal for me, but I said I would not like to eat. Though, I took my medication, which the physician had prescribed for me. As I was about to sleep, an officer accompanied me to the second floor. I was directed into a room, where a person in civil uniform was present. He identified himself as a member of the family of al-Hashash in the Balata refugee camp. He requested that I sit on the chair. As soon as I sat down, my body started to sweat heavily. I also felt dizzy and my sight blurred. I felt a strong giddiness. As he saw me lose my equilibrium, he brought another chair and put my legs on it. Still, I lost balance. Though unbalanced, I came about. I did not know was exactly happened to me. I woke up when al-Hashash splashed water on my face. "Once, a man had this, but he did not give me a chance," al-Hashash addressed another person. I could not know whether that person was the physician or a security officer. "Be patient," the person replied. "The man might have had a heart attack".

I told them I could not move my left leg and arm. They tried to make me rise to my feet, but I could not. They brought a stretcher and placed me thereon. I was then transported to the Ramallah Public Hospital. Several security officers accompanied me. Within minutes, I was admitted to a room for examination. Many security officers and doctors were around me. The doctors requested that security officers get out. Following a check-up for two hours, the doctors offered me the necessary medical treatment. A doctor informed me that the medical checks indicated that I had two strokes.

However, he said he could not determine the time when I sustained them – either in the past or during the recent days. I had the latter stroke on the brain, but God's will made it light. Guarded by several security officers, I stayed in hospital. On the second day, many members of my family, who were notified by a nurse, arrived. However, security officers prevented them from entering my room. At this point, security officers said that they would allow my family members to visit me if I tell them how many millions I had brought in order to distribute to Hamas members. In the afternoon, a Preventive Security officer came in and introduced himself to be from Jericho. He negotiated me to leave my work at the Hamas Social Committee after I get out. I promised him to do so. In fact, I could not move due to the pain I suffered.

He left and came back an hour later. "I want to congratulate you," he said. "For allowing my children to visit me; I do not want this visit", I replied. "You are released," he said. At this stage, security officers who were present in my room quarrelled with him. "You have transgressed your powers," they claimed. The officer called the Preventive Security Headquarters from his mobile telephone and asked a guard to talk. Having done so, the guard told me that I was released.Within minutes, a guard handed over my personal belongings. I signed on a letter stating that I received my possessions and security officers left. Thereafter, my family entered the room. My son Khaled brought me out of the hospital on his own responsibility and transported me to a hospital in the city of Nablus. There, diagnosis of my health condition was identical to that made at the Ramallah Public Hospital.

Finally, I returned home. Still, I suffer from severe pain in my left arm and leg. Though I am on medication, I am still unable to move due to incidents I was subjected to in the Preventive Security Headquarters in the city of Ramallah and the Shabeh I was subjected to over four days in the manner which I mentioned.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4364/2008
  • Field researcher: Yousef Qawareiq
  • Affidavit Date: 10 August 2008
  • Name: Marwan Khaled Saleh al-Khalili