IDF soldiers shoot and kill Sayyed Abu Libdah, 16, when in his family's orchard, 600 meters from the Gaza perimeter fence, December 2005

Anwar Abu Libdah, the deceased's cousin

Anwar Abu Libdah

I am seventeen years old and work in construction. I live in Khan Yunis with my parents and my nine brothers and sisters. I began working when I was thirteen because my father, who had always worked in Israel , was taken to jail and when he got out could not find work. My brother Rif'at and I support the family. I work from six in the morning to five in the evening, and earn about NIS 20 a day.

When I finish work, the neighbors and I go and play soccer at the field in Bani Suheila. Sometimes I go the land we own, which is situated about 600 meters west of the border with Israel . We had olive orchards there, but in 2002, the Israeli army uprooted them, except for six olive trees, which we care for. We go there occasionally to sit between the trees and drink tea, and sometimes we eat there. At seven or eight at night, I usually go home. Since the withdrawal, the Israelis have never fired at us, and we felt safe on our land.

Last Friday [2 December], my cousin Sayyed, who was sixteen years old, and Zuhdi Abu Shahin, 17, a friend of mine who both worked with me, finished working at 6:00 P.M., and we went straight to the my family's land, while we were still in our work clothes We got there at seven o'clock, and started to water the olive trees, finishing at 9:00. Then we made a fire and tea. After we finished drinking the tea, when we got up to put out the fire and go, shots were fired at us from the towers along the border. The gunfire continued for twenty minutes non-stop. I was the first to be hit, in my right thigh. I fell to the ground, cried out, and couldn't get up. Zuhdi and Sayyed ran away, and the shooting continued. They got far from me and I didn't see what happened to them. A half an hour later, an ambulance arrived and took me to Nasser Hospital , in Khan Yunis. The next day, one of the nurses told me that Sayyed had been killed and that Zuhdi had been wounded in the chest and leg.

I know that the soldiers saw us there many times, because we go there to water the trees. They know this is our land and that we go there to take care of it. I don't understand why they fired at us.

Anwar 'Ata Hamdan Abu Libdah, 17, is a construction worker and a resident of Bani Suheila, Khan Yunis. His testimony was given to Zaki Kahil at Nasser Hospital, in Khan Yunis, on 5 December 2005