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Testimony: Two settlers assault Khalil a-Nawaj'ah, 60, near Susiya, 17 February 2007

Khalil a-Nawaj'ah, farmer

Khalil a-Nawaj'ah

I live with my wife, Tamam, 58, in Susiya, We live in a cloth tent. I have a plot on which I grow wheat and barley, and 100 head of sheep and goats. I graze the flock on the hills near my house. My son Hisham lives with his wife and three children near me. He helps me work the land and raise the flock. Our plot has a well for collecting rainwater. In the summer, I buy containers of water and store it in the well. We use the water for drinking and to give to the sheep and goats.

Settlers usually come to graze their flocks by my house. They bring their flocks onto the land where we grow the wheat and barley. I try to move them off the land, and generally don't have problems with them. The problems arise when they try to water their flock from my well. They have more than 250 head, and sometimes they take them to our well and their flock drinks a lot of our water. Last summer, five settlers brought a tractor with a container and pumped water from the well. When I told them it was my water, they said the well and the water belonged to them. After they stole the water, I spoke with the army. Sometimes they take the pipe that is hooked up to the well. I filed a number of complaints to the police, but nothing happened.

Yesterday, 17 February 2007, at 3:00 P.M., I was alone at home. I saw two settlers in their twenties bring their flock into my wheat field, about 20 meters from the house. I rushed outside and said to them, “Come on, you're ruining the wheat in the field.” One of the settlers, who was tall, thin, and had blond hair, came over to me and grabbed me hard by the neck. The other settler was a little shorter and had black hair. They were wearing white clothes. About 800 meters away, I saw three settlers also dressed in white, with covered faces. The settler with the black hair came over to me. He had a big rock in his hand and hit me hard in the nose and mouth with it. I fell down and started bleeding a lot. Then they headed back in the direction of the [Susiya] settlement.

A few minutes later, Ghalia, Hisham's wife, arrived. She helped me sit up and called for help. 10-15 minutes later, my nephew Ibrahim, 35, and his son Nidal, 20, came there to work their plot. [When they saw me,] Ibrahim called the police.

15  minutes later, a police car and army ambulance arrived. The ambulance team treated me and the police officers told me to file a complaint at the police station in Kiryat Arba. More than half an hour after that, my son Khaled arrived from Yatta. After about an hour and a quarter, the army ambulance took Khaled and me to the Zif-Yatta intersection, where an ambulance was waiting. It took us to the government hospital in Yatta. I underwent tests and the physicians decided to transfer me to al-Ahli Hospital, in Hebron, for X-rays. A Red Crescent ambulance took me there. My nose and mouth were X-rayed and I was checked. The doctor said I had suffered bruises to my nose and loosening of my front teeth. From there, I was transferred to ‘Aliyah Hospital, in Hebron.

Khalil Salameh Isma'il a-Nawaj'ah, 60, married with eleven children, is a farmer and a resident of Khirbet Susiya in Hebron District. His testimony was given to Musa Abu Hashhash at the entrance to the police station in Kiryat Arba on 9 June 2008.