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Testimony: Four settlers attack the Nawaj'ah family near Khirbet Susiya, 8 June 2008

 

Khalil a-Nawaj'ah, farmer

Khalil a-Nawaj'ah

I live in Khirbet Susiya with my wife, Tamam, 60, and two of our sons - Hisham, 25, and Muhammad, 18. My son ‘Imran, 32, and his family live next to us. We live in cloth tents and have a twenty-dunam [almost five acre] plot of land, on which we grow barley for our flock. I have 50 sheep and goats and ‘Imran has 80. We live about two or three kilometers southeast of the Susiya settlement.  

Yesterday [Sunday, 8 June 2008], around 5:00 P.M., Bilal, ‘Imran's son, came to our house and told us that settlers were about to attack his father. I ran to where ‘Imran was grazing his flock, about 300 meters west of our house. My wife, Muna (Hisham's wife), and Rabiha (‘Imran's wife), came too. Rabiha brought her video camera, which she got from B'Tselem's camera distribution project.

Settler beating 'Imran a-Nawaj'ah with a club. Photo taken from footage from B'Tselem's camera distribution project.
Settler beating 'Imran a-Nawaj'ah with a club. Photo taken from footage from B'Tselem's camera distribution project.

We reached ‘Imran in about five minutes and saw four settlers standing there with sticks in their hands. They looked 20-something years old and had shirts covering their faces. They ran towards us. One of them hit ‘Imran in the head with the stick and he fell down. Then he and another two of settlers beat ‘Imran while he was lying on the ground. The fourth settler ran towards me and knocked me down with a blow to my head. I heard Tamam cry out for help and then it all became a blur. It looks like ‘Imran and I lost consciousness for a few minutes. When we regained consciousness and managed to get up, we saw the settlers running towards the settlement. I saw Tamam and Muna walking home, with Tamam resting on Muna's shoulder, and I realized they had hit her too.

I caught up with them and saw that Tamam's hand and face were bleeding. She looked badly injured and I was shocked. I told ‘Imran's sons Bilal, 8, and Hamzeh, 10, to go to the main road, stop a passing army vehicle, and tell the soldiers what happened. About half an hour later, they managed to stop an army Hummer jeep and told the soldiers about the attack. ‘Imran, Rabiha, and I picked up Tamam and carried her to the soldiers, who were about 200 meters from our house. We laid her down on the ground next to the jeep. The soldiers summoned an army ambulance and called the Israeli police.

When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics put Tamam inside the ambulance and gave her first aid. They took her to Soroka Hospital, in Beersheva [Israel]. I asked if somebody from the family could go with her, but the paramedics refused. She's still in the hospital and the doctors say she is in stable condition.

The police arrived at the scene together with the army ambulance. They took testimonies from Muna and me and took the video that Muna took of the four settlers coming up to ‘Imran before they attacked him.

After the army ambulance left, a Red Crescent ambulance arrived. The paramedics treated Rabiha, who had been hit in the back and face, and then took ‘Imran and me to ‘Aliyah Government Hospital, in Hebron.

We reached the hospital at 7:20 P.M. The doctors examined us and we were X-rayed. I had bruises and swelling on my right cheek and right shoulder, and a head wound, which a doctor closed with three stitches. ‘Imran had suffered bruises to his back and an injury to the middle finger of his left hand, and his face was puffed up.

Earlier today, ‘Imran and I filed a complaint with the police.

Last year, too, settlers attacked me and broke my tooth. I don't know what will happen the next time we go to graze our flock on our land.

Khalil Salameh Isma'il a-Nawaj'a, 62, married with eleven children, is a farmer and a resident of Khirbet Susiya in Hebron District. His testimony was given to Musa Abu Hashhash in Hebron on 9 June 2008.