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From the field

Hebron: I DF soldiers beat Muhammad Da'ana, age 13, January 2003

Muhammad Shaker Da'ana, age 13, resident of Jabel Johar in area H2 in Hebron

I live with my family of 14 in Jabel Johar in area H2 in Hebron. I am the tenth child and I study at al-Mutnabi School, which is in the Wadi a-Nasri, about a kilometer from my home.

On Thursday, 23 January 03, at about 8:00 A.M., I left my home to go to school. On the way, I saw an Israeli army jeep drive down the street at top speed. All of the children that were walking on the street ran away as soon as they saw the jeep. I couldn't run because my knee was hurting. The day before I fell when soldiers were chasing us when we were leaving school, and my knee had been hurting since. The jeep stopped next to me and two soldiers stepped out. One of them asked me where I was going, and I said that I was on my way to school. The soldier said, "To school, son of a bitch," and hit me on the forehead with his gun. I fell on the ground, bleeding from the wound in my forehead. The blood covered my entire face. The two soldiers lifted me up and threw me forcefully back on the ground. I crashed into an electricity pole. I started screaming and crying and the soldiers fired in the air. I was on the ground. One of the soldiers picked me up and demanded I get up and spread my legs. He threatened to shoot me if I leave.

I stayed in one place for a few minutes, with my face covered in blood and my coat and clothes stained. I heard someone calling me, but I couldn't go to them because the soldiers where still in the area. When they left me and went to chase other school kids, I approached the man, Maher al-'Ajalouni, whom I knew. He gave me first aid. He cleaned the blood that covered my face and tried to stop the bleeding. Later, a few men carried me home. My father and brothers were still home. My cousin, Mundhar Da'ana, who's a lawyer, took me to Muhammad 'Ali al-Mukhtaseb Hospital, where I was given medical treatment. The doctors stitched my wound with 11 stitches and told me to return to the hospital in case of dizziness or vomiting.

I returned home, and after an hour, I threw up and felt dizzy. My father took me back to the hospital, and from there, I was transferred to 'Aalia Hospital. The doctors at 'Aalia said there was no specialist there and transferred me to al-Ahali Hospital. There, I was x-rayed and got an EEG test. The doctors asked me to come back for check-ups and follow-up treatment after a month.

Since the incident, I haven't gone to school because I have severe pains in the legs and head.

Muhammad Shaker Da'ana is 13 years old . He is a seventh grade student and resident of Jabel Johar in area H2 in Hebron. The testimony was taken by Musa Abu Hashash at the home of the witness, 29 January, 2003.