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Affidavit No. 4870/2009

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, Muhammad Ahmad Husein Abu-Bakr, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 852982263, born on 21 September 1990, a student at al-Najah National University, and a resident of Jet village, Qalqiliya Governorate, would like to declare the following:

On 2 May 2009, I was with my brothers Samir, Yasin and Sadif on our land, which is called “Kift al-Jame’” and measures 12 dunums. It is located south of our village of Jet and is only 400 metres away from the settlement of Gil’ad, also to the south.

While ploughing our land with a tractor, we were taken by surprise when a group of approximately 20 settlers approached us. They came from the settlement and were wearing white uniforms, had long sideburns and long hair. Four Israeli patrols, including three Hummers and one jeep, were accompanying the settlers. There were approximately 20 Israeli soldiers, wearing Israeli military uniforms and carrying weapons. Three settlers were riding horses, two settlers were carrying pistols and the settlement guard accompanying them was carrying an M16 rifle. We had seen the settlement guard before and knew what he looked like.

“Why are you here?” a soldier asked us in Hebrew, which we master. “We are ploughing our land.” My brother Yasin replied. “This is our land.” The settlers said. Then, a settler damaged the tractor’s tyres with a small knife. The soldiers present did not prevent the settler from doing so. We quarrelled with the Israeli soldiers for about 15 minutes. They told us to leave the land and not cause problems.

“When you leave, take this tractor with you.” A soldier told us. Despite the fact that its tyres were damaged, we managed to get the tractor out of the land. As we dragged it out, the wheels were completely destroyed. While we were leaving, a settler threw a substance at my face. It looked like some kind of gas. My face was burning and I also felt pain in my ears and eyes. Then, settlers started to throws stones at us. A stone hit my back, leaving me with severe pain.

My brothers also sustained wounds on various parts of their bodies. The army did not do anything to stop them. After I reached the main street, I went to the hospital in the city of Qalqiliya. Doctors told me that the substance, which the settler had splashed at my face was poisonous.

As for our land, my father inherited it from my grandfather and we have always taken good care of it. However, we have been prevented from cultivating our land for approximately four years. The settlers who are present in the area regularly cut down and uproot the plants and trees cultivated on our land. We demand that all responsible institutions help us to access our land and to take care of it. As farmers, we rely on our land as our only source of income. We do not own any other pieces of land in the village.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4870/2009
  • Field researcher: Husniyya ‘Ali Ahmad
  • Affidavit Date: 5 May 2009
  • Name: Muhammad Ahmad Husein Abu-Bakr