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From the field

Settlers attack Palestinian home in Hebron, July 2002

Maher al-'Ajal, resident of the house, aged 46

I live with my family in the old city in Hebron, on Suk a-Laban street, about 150 meters away from the Avraham Avinu settlement. The settlers have thrown stones at our home several times in the past.

On Sunday, July 28 2002, I was half-asleep in my bedroom. At about 2:00 P.M., I heard a loud noise and people speaking Hebrew. The main door was open. My wife and four children (the eldest is nine years old) were inside the house in the front room. I got out of the bedroom to see what was going on and to lock the door. The noise sounded very close and I realized there were settlers inside the house. Instead of going to the door, I quickly went back to my bedroom, took the children and locked the door from the inside.

While I was in the bedroom, I heard the sounds of things breaking, knocking, and people speaking Hebrew. It sounded like there were more than ten people inside the house. They tried to force open the door of the bedroom and break in three times. They banged on the door and kicked it, but it didn't open. When the settlers were trying to open the door, I looked at my children. They were pale. My eight-year-old daughter, 'Ezzeyyah, took the Quran and began to read hoping that it would protect her. My wife was praying to God to help.

The attack lasted for about ten minutes. Even after the settlers left, we remained in the bedroom for another twenty minutes until our neighbors assured us that the settlers had gone. Raghda Jibreen told us that she saw about ten male soldiers and three female soldiers stationed around the house and on the roof during the settler's attack. She didn't say whether the soldiers tried to stop the settlers or not.

My wife mentioned the name of a settler which she heard when they were talking amongst themselves. The name was Baruch.

When we came out of the bedroom we found that the furniture in the sitting room had been destroyed; a table, cupboard, glasses, china dishes, a fan, vases etc'…

Maher 'Abd a-Rahim Ahmad al-'Ajal, born in 1966, is married and the father of four. He works as a laborer, and lives in Area H2, Hebron, The West Bank. The testimony was given to Musa Abu Hashhash at the witness' home on August 1, 2002.