Affidavit No. 5106/2009

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, „Ala‟ Mahmoud Darwish Faraj ([also known as the] „the Singer‟), of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 412501983, born on 27 October 1985, a member of the Baladna Music Band, and a resident of the al-Rimal neighbourhood, Gaza city, Gaza governorate, would like to declare the following:

My name is „Ala‟ Mahmoud Darwish Faraj (the Singer). I am 24 years old and a member of the Baladna Music Band, which performs at wedding parties and popular celebrations. My brother Khaled Faraj, 29 years old and a popular singer, directs the band. I live with my family on the sixth floor of the al-Afaghani residential tower in the northern neighbourhood of al-Rimal in the centre of Gaza city.

At around 12:10 am on Monday, 19 October 2009, my colleagues and I concluded a wedding party for the Labad family on al-Yarmouk Street in al-Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood north of Gaza city. We loaded musical instruments and equipment and climbed into our yellow Volkswagen car in order to return to our houses. Having travelled along al-Yarmouk Street for a distance of almost 150 metres, we were surprised by a dark blue Volkswagen Golf car obstructing our way. I saw five masked individuals wearing black uniforms and armed with Kalashnikov rifles and pistols leave their car and approach us, pointing their weapons at our car. A masked individual hit our driver Zuheir Abu-Samra on his head and seized the car key from him. Other masked individuals opened the car door and I heard an individual ask for my brother Khaled.

“I am Khaled.” My brother answered.
“Welcome, Chief!” the individual commented.
Two masked individuals pushed my brother Khaled out of the car forcefully. At that point, my brother Wisam, my colleagues and I tried to rescue Khaled from them, but they beat us with rifle butts and ordered us at gunpoint to close the car door and not get out. Then, they took my brother Khaled and pushed him forcibly into their car, which set off at a great speed. My brother Wisam and I got out and pursued them. During this time, I called my brother Khaled. When we reached the juncture on the al-Yarmouk and al- Nafaq Streets, I saw a police vehicle stop on the side of the road. I hurried towards it and reported to the Commander of the Force what had happened to us. The Commander asked me to describe the car that had abducted my brother Khaled and requested that I get into the police vehicle. My brother Wisam and I got in the vehicle, which carried five police officers. The police car followed the abductors‟ car. While it was travelling at great speed along al-Yarmouk Street, we saw two passer-by. The Commander asked them about the abductors‟ car and one of the passer-by said that he had seen it travel along a detour road, known as the al-Baqqara Street which led to vacant agricultural land. The police car continued to chase the abductors‟ car. Indeed, we saw the car on the said detour road. Police officers got out of the car, pointed their weapons at the masked individuals, and demanded that they take off their masks and identify themselves.

“We are members of the al-Qassam Brigades.” I heard a masked individual reply.
The Commander continued to insist that they take off their masks and identify themselves. The masked individuals quarrelled with police officers for several moments.
“Where is Khaled Faraj, whom you kidnapped?” the Commander asked a masked individual, who was confused and stepped back.
“The unworthy is thrown on the ground between the trees.” The masked individual answered and pointed towards Khaled‟s place.

Then, the masked individuals left the area in their car. I quickly hurried to the place where my brother Khaled was and found him lying on the ground between the trees. He was unconscious and his body covered with blood. Assisted by the police officers, my brother Wisam and I carried him to the police vehicle and were driven to the al- Shifa‟ Hospital. There, doctors admitted Khaled to the intensive care room and told us that he was in critical condition. My brother Khaled stayed inside the room for six hours and then regained consciousness. Then, he stayed at the hospital for three days and returned home. Now, he is confined to bed and unable to move because he had been beaten by the masked individuals of the al-Qassam Brigades.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5106/2009
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 26 October 2009
  • Name: „Ala‟ Mahmoud Darwish Faraj