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Hebron: Settlers stab Iyad Salhab, age 25, January 2003

Iyad Salhab, victim, age 25, resident of Hebron.

I live with my family in the Jabel Karbage area, about a kilometer from the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Ten days ago I started working at a stone factory, which is located about 300 meters south of the Tomb of the Patriarchs. I start work at 07:00 A.M. and finish at 04:00 PM.

On Sunday, 19 January 2003, I left for work around 06:30 A.M. as usual. I went up to the intersection that is about 100 meters south of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where there is an army checkpoint. When I was about ten meters from the checkpoint, three soldiers, who had been hiding behind a fence, suddenly appeared in front of me. One of them pointed his gun at me and told me to stop. They made me walk a short distance and sit in front of some closed shops across from a Border Police checkpoint.

About five minutes later I spotted three settlers running in my direction and heard them laughing and screaming in Hebrew: "Arabs!" They were armed with guns and had knives, about 20 to 30 cm long. The three soldiers were standing about two meters away from me.

One of the settlers stood in front of me and waved his knife. The other two came from behind. I felt two stabs. One was just above the waist, on the left side. The stab itself was deep, but because I was wearing two coats and four shirts the knife didn't penetrate deep into the flesh. The second stab was in the upper part of my thigh. It wasn't deep. The settler who was standing opposite me stabbed me in the face. He got the left nostril and blood started flowing. The settlers were in their twenties. The soldiers did not try to prevent the settlers from harming me, not even verbally.

I was concentrating on my wounds, when all of the sudden I spotted about twenty or more settlers, most of them armed, running towards me. When they were about fifteen meters away from me, two of the soldiers placed themselves between them and me, with their backs to the settlers. They grabbed my hand and one of them told me to run away. He told me in Arabic: "Run home, quickly!" I ran quickly towards the military checkpoint on the street where the schools are, until I got to the Jabel Johar junction (al-Mukhtar). In the meantime I called my father (53), who was at home and told him everything that had happened. About five minutes later, he arrived in his car, a Subaru, and took me to the 'Aliya hospital. As I was sitting in the car, I felt a strong pain where I was stabbed in the hips. I got to the hospital around 08:00 AM where they examined me, took pictures, and stitched the wounds in the hips and face. I spent one night at the hospital and was released the next day at around 01:00 PM. Since I was wounded, I've been lying in my bed unable to go to work.

Iyad 'Abd el-Mu'ati Salman Salhab, is 25 years old. He is married and the father of two. Iyad works in the stone factory and is a resident of Hebron. The testimony was taken by Musa Abu Hashhash at the witness' home on 23 January, 2003.