Affidavit No. 6776/2011

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, Ahmed Khalil Abed Abu Hashem, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 995546645, born on 18 February 1967, a farmer, and a resident of the Qa’ al Hara area, Beit Ummar town, Hebron governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am the head of an extended family of 13 members, including six children under the age of 18 years old. On 20 July 2011, an Israeli patrol jeep came to our house and handed me a call of summons, stating that my son Yousef (18 years old) should report to the Israeli Intelligence agency in the Kfar ‘Etzion camp, north of our town. My son refused to report to the Israeli Intelligence agency. As a result, the Israeli occupying forces raided my house on four different occasions in search of Yousef. In one of these occasions, Israeli soldiers raided my house before dawn on 2 August 2011, while Yousef was not at home. On that day, soldiers were nervous and created an atmosphere of fear amongst my family members. They entered the house with two dogs. A soldier also fired a tear gas grenade towards my family members, who were then detained in the house yard. Consequently, my son ‘Imad’s wife Isra’ Ahmad Za’aqiq (17 years old) was transported to a hospital for medical treatment; she was in her third month of pregnancy. On that day, Captain Tamer, the Israeli Intelligence officer who is in charge of the area, served several other summonses, including one meant for me and two for my sons Tha’er and Yousef. Accordingly, we had to report to the Israeli Intelligence agency in the Kfar ‘Etzion camp at 8:00 am on the same day. My son Tha’er and I told Captain Tamer that we would not report and that he could take us with him if he so wanted.

“If you do not report, the stones of your house will reach the settlement of Karmei Tzur.” the Captain replied.

He meant that he would shell and destroy the house.

“I will not report to the Intelligence agency even if the stones reach the settlement of Kiryat Arba’.” I insisted.

On that day, the soldiers destroyed contents of the house. They broke a wooden door on the ground floor and damaged some doors of the kitchen cabinet. They broke three light bulbs in the stairwell. My sons and I did not report to the Israeli Intelligence agency.

At dawn on Tuesday, 11 October 2011, I was asleep in my house. My son Yousef, who had come in at around 2:45 am, awakened me up and said that the Israeli army was calling me through their megaphone demanding that I open the house door quickly. I went out of my bedroom to the balcony, which overlooked the house yard and doorway. At first, I heard the call myself, but I did not know) where the sound was coming from. Immediately then, I saw soldiers dispersed around the house yard. A soldier turned on a torch, pointed it in my direction, and ordered me to open the door. I asked the soldier to wait until my family members would be dressed. Nevertheless, I heard the soldiers striking strongly on the house door on the ground floor (I live on the first floor). My wife (41 years old) and my sons Yousef, Hammoudah (15 years old) Hamza (13 years old) and the rest of my family members went down on the staircase to the ground floor in order to open the door. After I had opened the door, I saw approximately 20 Israeli masked soldiers in front of me. When I moved two steps outside, I saw 10 more masked soldiers getting out of the house through the same staircase. I believe that they had entered the house through the roof. The soldiers led me to the yard. An unmasked officer pushed and forced me to stand against a wall. He spoke Arabic fluently. From his accent, I realised that he was a Bedouin. A masked soldier, who had a dog, kicked me on the right ankle. I saw my son Tha’er (22 years old) lying on the ground in the house yard. He was naked and only had his underwear on and his hands were tied behind his back. I protested against the behaviour of soldiers, stating that it contravened with democracy. The soldiers told me to keep quiet. The Bedouin soldier requested my ID card and gave it to an unmasked Border Guard officer. The latter requested that I identify my sons who were in the yard. I identified my son Tha’er. Before I went on, the officer pointed at my son Yousef and asked about his name. Yousef identified himself. At that point, five soldiers attacked Yousef forcefully and started to beat and kick him on various parts of his body. They tied his hands behind his back. A soldier also hit Yousef between his legs, and Yousef screamed. My wife tried to approach Yousef, but the soldier who the dog had kicked her in the back and forced her away from Yousef.

About 14 soldiers, who led three dogs, entered the house in order to search it; they were done about 20 minutes later. The Bedouin officer approached me and told me that I was arrested. Another soldier tied my hands behind my back. Then the soldiers led my son Yousef and me into a Border Guard jeep. After the jeep travelled for a distance of about 150 metres, a Border Guard officer blindfolded us both. The jeep travelled south towards the Karmei Tzur settlement and stopped several minutes later. Once the door was opened, Captain Tamer, whom I recognised by his voice, showed up and said “Good Morning”. After asking Yousef if he knew him, the Captain said that he had been looking for him for two months. Yousef replied that he did not know the Captain and that he was away from his home for the past two months. Captain Tamer introduced himself to Yousef and said that he [Yousef] could not escape from him. Tamer also added that he could capture Yousef even by dispatching soldiers from the sky.

“Aren’t I right?” Captain Tamer addressed me.

“I don’t know.” I replied.

At that point, Tamer spat on me and called me a filthy dog. I drew back a little on the seat in the rear section of the jeep where I was forced to sit. A Border Guard officer, who sat on the seat opposite mine, hit me with his elbow under my right eye. Captain Tamer closed the jeep door and said he would meet with me in his office inside Karmei Tzur. The jeep travelled north towards Kfar ‘Etzion camp, which we reached at around 5:00 am. Yousef and I were forced out of the jeep to the camp yard. Captain Tamer arrived at the same time.

“Why do you participate in demonstrations and incite children to throw stones?” Captain Tamer questioned me. “Why don’t you reply to calls of summons which we have been sending to you?” He went on.

I replied that the charges were false and that I did not report to the Intelligence agency because when I did so in previous occasions, I was summoned for interrogation I was forced to wait for extended periods of time.

“I told you earlier that I would not report to the Intelligence agency for interrogation.” I said. “If there is anything against me, you can arrest me.” I added.

Another officer, who spoke Arabic fluently, intervened asking me to calm down and cooperate with Captain Tamer. I said I had nothing to say. Captain Tamer said that he would release me if I agree not to take part in demonstrations once again. I said I was going to participate in the demonstrations taking place the following day (Wednesday) and on Friday.

Captain Tamer ordered a soldier to remove my handcuffs and blindfold. He returned my ID card and told me to leave. When I left, I saw a call of summons inside my ID card. It stated that I should report to the Israeli Intelligence agency the following Monday. I called Tamer and told him to interrogate me right now if he so wanted. I said I would not respond to the summons and I dropped it on the ground.

I returned home at around 7:30 am. When I reached my house, my wife told me that after the soldiers had left she found out that they had tampered with furniture and contents of the house. They threw clothes from the cupboard in our bedroom on the ground. My wife also said that she lost a sum of NIS 800, which she had put in the pocket of my jacket in the closet. I had given her the money to hide it. They were the price for the grapes I had sold on the previous day. I searched the pockets of the jacket again, but I could not find the money. I believe that the soldiers had stolen it. My son Yousef was transported to the Kfar ‘Etzion detention centre. From there, he was relocated to the interrogation centre at the Al-Maskobiya, the “Russian Compound” prison in Jerusalem.

This is my declaration, which I hereby sign, 22 October 2011

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 6776/2011
  • Field researcher: Hisham Sharabati
  • Affidavit Date: 22 October 2011
  • Name: Ahmed Khalil Abed Abu Hashem