Affidavit No. 6073/2011

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, ‘Umar ‘Abdallah ‘Lieyyan Hamdan, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 978601045, born on 1 December 1958, Chairman of Beit Iksa Village Council, and a resident of Beit Iksa village, Jerusalem governorate, would like to declare the following:

I remember that in mid December 2010 the so-called Ra’ed al-Lozi, Director of the Palestinian District Coordination Office (DCO), telephoned me and reported that a delegation from the Israeli DCO and Civil Administration were planning to make a field tour visit in al-Loza area, which is an integral part of Beit Iksa village. A delegation from the Village Council and I travelled to the aforementioned land, but we did not find the Israeli DCO delegation. Instead, we found a notice thrown on the ground or, rather, posted on trees. It stated that 50 dunums of the village’s land would be confiscated in the following areas: Block No. 4 in al-Loza area; Block No. 6 in al-Sider area; al-Jibs area; and ‘Aqbat Beit Talma area. All located in the south-western area of the village, these pieces of land would be seized for the purpose of constructing a railroad. The targeted land belonged to families from the town, including the families of Hamayel, Liqianiya, Zayed, Muhammad, Sababa, Gheith, al-Khatib, and ‘Abd-al-Wahhab. All these families own the lands in question that are cultivated with Roman olive trees constituting a major source of olives and olive oil. The targeted lands are located dozens of metres from ‘Etzeret Kalotiya settlement constructed on land from the Palestinian village of Kaloniya village; occupied in 1948.

I would like to note that the pieces of land targeted by the military order are still in the hands of their owners, who are still able to access and tend to them in spite of frequent acts of violence committed by Israeli settlers against them. Last August, settlers set fire to approximately 300 olive trees in the area, damaging them severely.

After this decision was issued, the Village Council addressed the Ministry of the Wall and Settlement Activity, which appointed Lawyer Husam Younes to follow up on the confiscation. On 11 January 2011, the lawyer obtained an Israeli court decision ruling for the temporary cessation of the land until the case would be adjudicated. I would also like to confirm that some of the land owners mentioned above possess documents, including taxpayer registration certificates, which prove their ownership of the targeted pieces of land.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 6073/2011
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 17 January 2011
  • Name: ‘Umar ‘Abdallah ‘Lieyyan Hamdan