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Affidavit No. 6852/2011

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, Ashraf Muhammad Mahmoud Badwan, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 901248245, born on 06 June 1976, a bus driver at the Islamic Compound, and a resident of Al Zaytoun neighborhood, Gaza governorate, would like to declare the following:

I live with my wife and our five children on the second floor of our two-story family house, a 200 square metre area inhabited by three families with 17 members, most of them are women and children. My mother, father and three brothers live on the ground floor, while my brother Abdullah, 28 years old, who is married with three children, lives next to me on the second floor.  To the north of our house, which is roofed with asbestos and steel sheeting, lied a house owned by our neighbour, ‘Imad Matar. A prominent figure in Hamas named ‘Imad ‘Akel used to live in this house, but [after he was killed in the first intifada] this house became uninhabited. This house which is now empty, consisted of a ground floor with an area of 250 square meters, within the house is an iron container used for domestic purposes. Our house is located in Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, 500 meters to the north of Ali Ibn-Abu-Taleb Mosque on the eastern side of Gaza City. My apartment consists of two rooms, one kitchen and one bathroom and is located directly next to ‘Akel’s old house. Myself, my wife and my three-year-old son Amir, sleep in the asbestos roofed room that overlooks Akel’s house, while my children Sundus (11years old), Mohammed (9 years old), Shaima’ (7 years old), and Batoul (5 years old), all sleep in the room with the steel sheeted roof next to us.

On Sunday 11 December 2011 at about 2:40 am, while I was asleep with my family, I awoke to a terrible sound of explosions around our house and I saw the roof and the wall of my bedroom which overlooks Akel’s old house collapsing above us. Due to the explosions, we lost electricity in our house, so I moved with my wife and my son Amir from my room to my children’s room, holding blankets to protect my children from the collapsed ceiling above them. I was feeling a strong pain at the right side of my forehead. Then I got down onto the street, and went to a place located 50 meters away from my house to get the bus I drive for work so I could move my family away from the affected area.  It was then that I saw thick smoke and dust rising from ‘Imad ‘Akel’s former house. I then heard three consecutive explosions as an Israeli aircraft targeted the house next to ours. At that moment, some of my family members left our house and ran away towards our neighbour Dalloul’s house, which is located next to our house from the south.

Our neighbours then went upstairs to my apartment to bring down my wife and my children [who had stayed behind]. My wife then headed hurriedly towards the bus I brought closer to our house and asked that we should leave [to hospital] quickly while she carried our daughter Sundus with her. She then informed me that my daughter was injured and blood was gushing out of her head. I then placed Sundus inside the bus and headed to Al-Shifa’ Hospital. On our way to the hospital, my daughter Sundus started vomiting and lost consciousness. When we arrived at the hospital, the doctors gave her an X-ray exam that showed she had received an injury from missile shrapnel that had been blown into her head. The doctors then transferred Sundus to the intensive care unit, and after about half an hour, they transferred her once again to Abdel-Aziz Al-Rantisi Hospital, in Al-Nasr neighbourhood in the middle of Gaza City. Once there, the doctors subjected Sundus to a computerised tomography scan of her head, and then told me that there was bleeding inside her head as a result of shrapnel which hit her head and had stuck in her brain. After that, doctors transferred Sundus to Al-Shifa’ Hospital again. When we reached there, we were surprised by the presence of my son Muhammad in the emergency room, as he too had been injured slightly by some shrapnel in his right foot. I was also subjected to an X-ray exam as I had started feeling stronger pains in my forehead. Doctors found that I had also been injured by a piece of shrapnel on the top right side of my forehead.

My daughter Sundus underwent major surgery for about three hours; where the doctors had to remove the shrapnel from her brain in order to stop the bleeding. Sundus was then transferred to the intensive care unit and she is still there alive but with the assistance of ventilators. Her vital functions are also being monitored during her stay at the Hospital. Our house has been seriously damaged because of the bombing; in particular, some of the ceilings and walls collapsed, window glass was smashed and shattered, and all the interior doors, some of our furniture had also been damaged.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 13 December 2011

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 6852/2011
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 13 December 2011
  • Name: : Ashraf Mohammed Mahmoud Badwan
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