Testimony: B'Tselem worker photographs settlers trying to steal sheep and one of them stabs him in the hand, 10 August 2009

Nasser a-Nawaj'ah, 27

Nasser a-Nawaj'ah, 27

This morning [Monday, 10 August], at about 7:30, I heard voices and shouting coming from the direction of the wadi near our village, Khirbet Susiya. I got up and took my stills camera and ran toward where the voices were coming from. On the way, I looked behind me and saw two others from our village running behind me. They apparently also heard the shouting.

I got there quickly. I saw Jaziya Nawaj'ah and her sheep and two settlers. One of the settlers was average height and heavyset, with short hair, a beard, and slightly dark skin. I know him. His name is Dotan and he works for Dalia [Har-Sinai] at the Yair Farm settlement. The other settler was a bit shorter and younger than Dotan, had short hair and was fair-skinned. I know him too. His name is Shalom, and he is also from Yair Farm. The settlers tried to lead the sheep toward the settlement, and Jaziya shouted and tried to lead her sheep back toward the village.

I went toward Dotan to take a picture of him from up close, and he took something sharp out of his pocket and tried to attack me with it. I managed to get away, but it wounded my right hand. It might have been a knife.

I managed to take pictures of the settlers. I saw that Jamal and Ahmad Nawaj'ah filmed the incident on video and that foreign peace activists who were with us in the village came and also began to film what was happening.

When other residents arrived and tried to help Jaziya, the settlers left. Dotan went to a white car that was parked about five hundred meters to the east, and Shalom walked toward the settlement, where there were soldiers. I went to talk with the soldiers and saw Shalom standing between two of them and telling them that we had trespassed settlers' land. I explained what had happened and Shalom threatened me, saying that when he went into the army, he would shoot me. While I was there, Shalom took their two-way radio a few times and called for reinforcements from one of the battalions. The soldiers let him keep using the device, but nobody answered.

I went back to the village and called the police and asked them to come quickly. I went to the main road to wait for them. About half an hour later, a police car with three police officers inside arrived. One of them was called Jalal and another was called Tal. They spoke with me and then asked me to go with them to the settlement so I could identify the assailants.

I got into the van and we drove to where the soldiers were. Two of the police officers got out to speak with the soldiers, and I stayed in the car with Jalal. Suddenly I saw Dotan passing by in a white Mitsubishi Magnum. I pointed him out to Jalal and said that he was the one who had assaulted Jaziya. Jalal said he would arrest him later on. When the two police officers came back to the car, Jalal told them that Dotan had just passed by. One of the policemen asked him why he hadn't stopped him, and Jalal said it was impossible to take us together. They told me to go with Jaziya, Ahmad, and Iyad Abu Qabita, to the Kiryat Arba police station. One of the policemen returned me to Khirbet Susiya. They said they would arrest Dotan.

I took Jaziya to al-Hassan al-Qassem Hospital, in Yatta, and then we went to the Kiryat Arba police station and filed complaints. My hand wasn't severely injured and I didn't get it examined.

Nasser Muhammad Ahmad a-Nawaj'ah, 27, married with two children, is the coordinator of B'Tselem's video-camera project in the southern Hebron hills and a resident of Khirbet Susiya, Hebron District. He gave his testimony to Musa Abu Hashhash on 10 August 2009 in Hebron .