Skip to main content
From the field

IDF soldiers shoot and kill Husni Daraghmeh after he he followed their orders and raised his hands in the air, April 2004

'Abd a-Nasser Barghouthi, owner of a stone-polishing business

I have a stone-polishing business at the a-Shuhada junction, on the Jenin-Nablus Road. Other businessmen from the area and I usually sit in the restaurants and coffee shops along the roadside. We sit there, drink coffee or tea, and conduct business.

Last Saturday [24 April], around 3:00 P.M., I was sitting on the patio of Abu Omer's restaurant drinking tea. I was sitting alone on the right-hand side of the door leading into the restaurant. Abu Omer came in to get a pack of cigarettes for the driver of a Volkswagen van that was parked near the entrance. There were five men in the vehicle. A white Hyundai van pulled up. It came from the south and swerved from the right lane into the left lane. It stopped in the middle of the road, facing oncoming traffic, between the restaurant and the coffee shop of Subhi al-Badar, closer to Abu Omer's restaurant.

When the Hyundai stopped, the rear door flew open and out came two masked men with rifles. They were wearing white shirts with thin black stripes, and black pants and shoes. One of them shouted in Arabic, "Stop. Stop and raise your hands". Two men were standing at the junction, facing the Hyundai. They raised their hands immediately, and then one of armed men fired three or four shots. The armed men were about ten meters from the two guys. One of the guys fell to the ground, and the other continued to stand there with his hands raised.

I was in shock and did not know what to do. Then one of the armed men fired at the guy who was standing there. The guy shouted something that I couldn't understand and fell to the ground. The whole thing didn't take more than ten or twenty seconds. I got up and went to hide inside the restaurant. I saw the restaurant owner hiding under the food-preparation counter. One of the armed men, who apparently saw me, came into the restaurant after me and ordered me to raise my hands and stop. Then the other armed man came into the restaurant.

Then four or five soldiers came into the restaurant. I don't know where they came from. The moment they entered the restaurant, the two armed men left. The soldiers stayed. One of the soldiers ordered me, Abu Omer, and a woman with an infant and a five-year-old girl to go outside. We did as he said. Outside, I saw soldiers removing the five men from the Volkswagen. The soldiers told us and the five men to stand next to a small fence that separates the restaurant from Subhi's coffee shop. About twelve army vehicles pulled up. One of them was a truck with soldiers inside, and there were a few Hummer jeeps, a few regular jeeps, and an army ambulance.

Around 3:30 P.M., the soldiers ordered us to sit down behind Abu Omer's restaurant and to stay there. None of the soldiers stayed to guard us. The soldiers dispersed. Some of them went to one of the houses behind the restaurant. They broke through the door and went onto the roof. They stayed there until the end of the operation.

I walked over to a corner of the restaurant, from where I saw one of the guys who had been shot earlier. He was moving on the ground. Around five o'clock, about two hours after they were shot, soldiers brought a robot to check for explosives. The robot was yellow and was shaped like a small tank. It moved along the road while the soldiers spoke to one of the guys [lying on the ground], who was wounded. They told him, "Raise your hands so that we can bring you a doctor". I think that he moved his right hand. The soldiers continued to talk to him, and ordered him to lift up his shirt. In the meantime, the robot checked a garbage bag that the soldiers thought was suspicious looking. It dragged the bag, shook it, and emptied its contents. There were no explosives inside. I think that it was full of trash and weeds. After the robot finished checking the bag, it dragged the wounded guy by his left leg three or four meters in the direction of the van. The guy was closer to us than the other fellow. While the robot dragged him, his stomach was exposed. Then the robot went over to the other guy, who was dead I think, and dragged him about two meters toward the Hyundai.

Just then, an army jeep pulled up and stopped near the two guys. A doctor or medic carrying a bag got out of the jeep. He tore and removed the men's clothes. After examining the men, the soldiers summoned a Red Crescent ambulance, which waited at the a-Shuhada junction on the road leading to Barqin. The ambulance staff brought out green sheets, wrapped the men in the sheets, and took them away. The soldiers continued to comb the area. They searched all the open fields and cemetery and then left the area.

The two guys who had been shot did not try to flee. They were not armed, and the soldiers did not find any weapons on them. The operation took about two and a half hours, and the two guys lay there on the ground until they were given first-aid at the end of the operation. I later learned the name of the guy who was killed: Husni Daraghmeh.

'Abd a-Nasser Khalil 'Abd a-Rahman Barghouthi, age 39, married with seven children, owner of a stone-polishing business, resident of Jenin. His testimony was taken by 'Atef Abu a-Rob in Qabatiya, near Jenin on 26 April 2004.