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Affidavit No. 7169/2012

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, Abd al-Latif Suleiman Salman al-Samiri, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 903356640, born in 1957, a farmer, and a resident of the al-Qarara town, Khan Younis governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am the citizen Abd al-Latif Suleiman Salman al-Samiri. I am 55 years old, married, and father of eight children. I live in the Al-Qarara town in the north-eastern Khan Younis governorate. My home is at a distance of about one kilometre west of the border fence with Israel.

At around 12:30 pm on Saturday, 11 February 2012, I was present in my agricultural land near to my home, at a distance of about 800 metres from the border fence. My sons ‘Ala’. (22 years old), and Ra’fat, (24 years), grazed a herd of ten camels at a distance of about 200 metres in the eastern direction; that is, at a distance of about 600 metres west of the border fence. I saw green military jeep of the Israeli occupying forces coming from the area behind the border fence and stopping on a sand hill. Shortly thereafter, I heard the sound of gunfire originating from the area, where the jeep had stopped. I lied on the ground and saw my two sons lying on the ground as well. The gunfire went on sporadically for about 15 minutes. During this time, I continued to lie on the ground. I could not stand or leave the area for fear that I might be injured. After the shooting stopped, I raised my head a little and looked at the jeep. I saw that it had left the area. I hurried to my sons to make sure they were all right. When I reached them, I found out they were fine and were not hurt. Then, I checked on the camels. I saw a female camel lying on the ground; it was dead. It sustained several bullet wounds in the neck. I also saw another female camel lying on the ground at a distance of about 400 metres from the border fence. Though it did not move, we could not reach it because we were afraid that we would be fired upon again. I realised that the camel was dead too. It should be noted that a female camel cost USD 1,500. My sons and I gathered the remaining camels and returned to our home.

I saw that gunshots had hit the eastern wall of my house, which is located at a distance of about one kilometre from the border fence with Israel. Open agricultural land separates my home from the border fence. My home has a surface area of 300 square metres and consists of a ground floor built of concrete. I live in the house with my family, my three sons and their families, . We are four families of 25 members.

I would like to note that I am a farmer and own a piece of agricultural land, measuring 20 dunums. This is part of a 300-dunum land, which my uncles and their children own. The land is adjacent to the border fence east of our homes. Most of the land is located in the area called the buffer zone, which is inaccessible according to a decision from the Israeli occupying authorities. The land was cultivated with almond and olive trees. Like the majority of residents in the area, my sons and I rely on agriculture and livestock breeding. Since the al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in 2000, we could not access our land. On several occasions, the Israeli occupying forces positioned near to the border fence opened fire towards us. They also carried out many incursions, raiding 300 metres up to two kilometres into the area. During these incursions, the Israeli forces levelled agricultural land. On 12 June 2006, the Israeli occupying forces raided the area, levelled my land, and uprooted all of the trees, which had been cultivated on it. They also levelled land belonging to my relatives. Ever since, we have relied on livestock breeding only. Israeli occupying soldiers also open fire towards us while we graze sheep and camels on land near the separating border. Most often, we are forced to get away, leaving our livestock behind. In this area, we are forced to get back to our houses before nightfall. We cannot go out at night in fear for our lives. 

 

This is my declaration, which I hereby sign, 14 February 2012

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 7169/2012
  • Field researcher: Tariq Zaqout
  • Affidavit Date: 14 February 2012
  • Name: Abd al-Latif Suleiman Salman al-Samiri
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