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Affidavit No. 7671/2012

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, Taghrid Taha Salih Daraghmah, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 414637827, born on 31 October 1971, a housewife, and a resident of the al- Liban al-Sharqiya village, Nablus governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a resident of the al-Liban al-Sharqiya village, south of Nablus city. We live in our home in the Khan al-Liban area, about one kilometre southeast of the village. Our village is about 27 kilometres from Nablus city. My family comprises seven members, including four children less than 18 years of age. My home and family are subject to frequent attacks by Israeli settlers. My home is surrounded by Israeli settlements: ‘Ma’aleh Levona’ about one kilometre to the southeast, ‘Eli’ about two kilometres to the north, and ‘Shilo’ about four kilometres to the east. My home is constructed on a plot of agricultural land, measuring about ten dunums. An artesian well is located on the land, supplied by a spring. The land, on which the house is constructed, is private property belonging to the family; that is, my husband’s family. In 1992, the Israeli court ruled that the land was a Palestinian private property.

At around 8:00 am on 28 August 2012, my family and I were at home, including my husband Khalid Samih Daraghmah, 45, and my sons Jalal, 17, Nour al-Din, 11, and Mo’men, 15. My little children were asleep in a room inside the house. My husband, my son Jalal and I were in the yard. I saw eight civilian cars with Israeli registration plates. The cars approached the western house gate and lined up about three metres from the house, where my husband, my son and I had been standing. About 50 Israeli settlers got out of the cars. We stepped back and went into the room where my children had been asleep in order to protect them. In addition to throwing stones, the settlers beat my husband and son with metal pipes and wooden sticks. Of these, two settlers carried pistols in their hands. Settlers also hit the iron door of the room.

I rushed outside to see what had happened to my husband and son. Then, about ten settlers got into the room and beat my son Mo’men with a stick on his left leg. A settler grabbed Nour al-Din by his blouse, scratched my son’s body with his nails and dropped him on the ground. I tried to help my children and prevent settlers from assaulting them. An Israeli settler hit me with a wooden stick on my right shoulder and grabbed and tore apart the front part of my gown. Having punched me on the chest three times, the same settler hit me with a stick on my right and left legs. In the meantime, other settlers damaged pieces of furniture and dispersed contents of the room around.

My husband and my son Jalal intervened and pushed the settlers out of the room. Having placed a metal pipe behind it, I locked the door tightly on myself and my children. My children and I started to scream and called people and our neighbours for help. My children were so frightened. I saw my husband and son running in the eastern direction and Israeli settlers chasing them. They fled to the hills and mountains in the vicinity of the house.

While my children and I were in the room, the settlers tried to remove the door by hitting it with sticks. Others threw stones at the windows and terrorised my children. Speaking Arabic, a settler threatened to uproot all the trees around the house and arrest us all. My children and I remained inside the room for almost half an hour. Using my mobile telephone, I managed to call the Palestinian District Coordination Office (DCO) and reported the attack and location. I explained to the DCO officers where we were. In the meantime, my husband and son Jalal intercepted an Israeli military patrol, which was travelling along the street leading to the ‘Ma’aleh Levona’ settlement. When the patrol arrived, settlers had fled from the area in their cars. About five minutes later, my husband and son said that the children and I could come out of the room. I went out after they assured me that the settlers had withdrawn. When I got out, I saw four Israeli soldiers, who were in the military uniform and armed. Only one settler was with the soldiers. The soldiers talked to my husband. About 15 minutes later, almost 20 Israeli military patrols, police cars and Intelligence vehicles, arrived. The Israeli occupying soldiers detained my husband, my children and me in another room in the house for 15 minutes. An Israeli officer talked to my husband.

“I know that the settlers assaulted you and that this house is yours, but you have to calm down.” The officer told my husband.

Later, the soldiers took my son Jalal outside and tied his hands with plastic handcuffs in front of me. My husband was looking for his mobile telephone. My son Mo’men had the telephone and took footage of the attack on our home. Then, Israeli policemen assaulted Mo’men, seized the telephone, arrested him and tied his hands behind his back. My son and husband were placed in the military patrol vehicles. About three hours later, at around 3:00 pm, the military patrols withdrew from the area.

At the request of the Israeli police, my brother-in-law Majid Samir Daraghmah and I went to the ‘Binyamin’ police station at around 3:30 pm to make a statement about the attack. When we reached the police station, I saw my husband and son sitting in a room that was separated from me by a glass sheet. Their hands and feet were in shackles. I waited for about three hours in a hallway inside the station. Then, I was called into a room, where a police investigator sat. He spoke with me in Arabic. I filed a complaint against the settlers, who had attacked my family, destroyed my house furniture, and damaged my husband’s car in front of the house. I gave a detailed statement about the assault. The police investigator told me that my husband and family were liars because I did not state what had happened in detail. However, I did not reply.

“You always believe the settlers. This is not the first time they attacked our home.” I told the police investigator after I had finished.

I signed an affidavit that was written in Hebrew, but was not translated into Arabic. Following the interview, I left the police station about half an hour later. I reached my house at around 7:00 pm. My husband was still detained in the ‘Sha’ar Binyamin’ station. After I called the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Israeli Center for the Defence of the Individual (HaMoked), they told me that my son had been relocated to the “al-Mascobiyah” (Russian Compound police station in West Jerusalem). I should stress that although we had all been beaten; my family protected my children from the Israeli settlers.

 

This is my declaration, which I hereby sign, 29 August 2012

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 7671/2012
  • Field researcher: Muhammad Ra’i
  • Affidavit Date: 29 August 2012
  • Name: Taghrid Taha Salih Daraghmah