Affidavit No. 6869/2011

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, Mustafa Darwish Mustafa Abu Al-Khier, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 800395451, born on 15 November 1984, an employee in the Police Forces, and a resident of Al-Shiekh Radwan, Gaza governorate, would like to declare the following:

I work as a corporal in the Palestinian Police Force which is part of the Palestinian National Authority. I live in Al-Sheikh Radwan neighborhood near Al-Yarmouk mosque in Gaza City. My father rents a residential apartment owned by Hilmi Isliem located above the Bank of Jordan in ‘Umar Al-Mukhtar Street, opposite the municipality park located in the centre of Gaza City. I live with my family in this apartment from time to time. My father owns a falafel kiosk underneath the apartment, where he offers fast food to passers-by and visitors of the municipality park. ‘Umar Al-Mukhtar Street and the municipality park area are both considered amongst the most crowded places in Gaza city seeing as ‘Umar A;-Mukhtar Street is almost the biggest street in Gaza.

On Thursday, 08 December 2011 at about 9:00 am, I was working with my father in the kiosk preparing snacks and fast food to sell to passers-by and visitors of the municipality park, since the municipality park is considered of the most famous landmarks in Gaza city. The park is a place for entertainment and play for families and their friends. Many schools also organise trips to the park during the scholastic year.

From early morning, I could hear the sound of an Israeli drone (plane navigated without a pilot inside) in the sky above the City. The area was quiet and the traffic was normal. At about 12:30 pm, I saw three buses carrying school children stopping at the entrance to the park. Children entered to play inside the park, while buses lined up on the side of the road in front of the entrance to the park. Myself, my father and my brother Mu’tasem (17 years old), who finished his school day and had come to help, started to prepare meals after the arrival of the school buses, since we sell more when tours arrive at the park.

At around 13:15 pm, we ran out of bread in the kiosk, so I sent my brother Mu’tasem to a nearby shop to buy a bundle of bread, then I went up to our apartment to bring some cooking supplies and suddenly I heard a very strong explosion coming from under the apartment. The apartment windows broke and the water pipes and sewage channels exploded. I quickly ran to a veranda that overlooks ‘Umar al-Mukhtar street and saw a dark grey Peugeot car on fire. I saw two men lying on the floor next to the car with their bodies torn; one of them was headless. I then ran downstairs to check on my father and brother Mu’tasem. I could hear the children screaming. I noticed a number of passers-by on the street who were also screaming, and saw the smashed windows of vehicles and a number of the passing cars damaged. After about five minutes, a civil defence vehicle arrived and started to deal with the burning car.

An ambulance then came and transferred the injured men, who had been in the blown-up car, to the hospital. I then started looking for my brother Mu’tasem but could not find him in the area. Some of the neighbours told me that my brother Mu’tasem had been injured and was taken to Al-Shifa’ Hospital by ambulance. I immediately headed towards the Hospital where I found my brother lying on a bed in the emergency unit surrounded by doctors and nurses; he was unconscious. After about half an hour, he regained consciousness and told doctors that he felt pain in his stomach and in his left foot. Doctors examined him and did some tests and X-rays, and found out that his left thigh was broken.

Mu’tasem stayed in the hospital for a couple of hours. During that time I walked through the hospital and saw a number of citizens gathered in front of the door of the morgue. They informed me that the two people who had been killed by the bomb which hit their car in front of the municipality park were. ‘Isam Al-Batsh and Sobhi Al-Batsh.  They were both assassinated by the bombing of their car by an Israeli drone.

In the evening of the same day, my brother Mu’tasem returned home. He is still receiving medication on a daily basis in the hospital, and he still feels traumatised; he had been waking up in the night screaming horrified from the shock. My father and I are still busy repairing the windows of our apartment and the water pipes that were damaged as a result of the targeting of the car, where the shrapnel from the missiles scattered everywhere in the street.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 12 December 2011

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 6869/2011
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 12 December 2011
  • Name: Mustafa Darwish Mustafa Abu Al Khier
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