Skip to main content
From the field

Testimony: Soldiers beat Adham Zaweita at his place of work, a chicken coop in Zawata, Feb. '09

Update: On 12 September 2010 the MAG Corps informed B'Tselem that the investigation file had been closed. The grounds for closing the case were not given.

Adham Zaweita, laborer

Adham Zaweita

For about a month, I have been working as a guard at a chicken coop in the west of Zawata. The coop belongs to Maher Abu Salahah, who owns a butcher's shop in Nablus. The coop has about 6,000 chickens. There is a top floor, which has a room with my things and another room, which has a refrigerator and gas burner. I work alone, and nobody visits me at work. The coop is 200 meters from the road connecting Shavey Shomeron and Checkpoint 17.

Last Sunday [15 February], around 8:30 P.M., while feeding the chickens, suddenly I heard the sound of loud pounding on the door of the coop. I opened the door and immediately I got hit hard in the stomach. I fell to the ground. About eight soldiers came in to the coop. Six of them went to the top floor, and two stayed next to me. One of them asked me, in Arabic, “Why didn't you open earlier?” I said, “I was feeding the chickens and I didn't hear you. I opened as soon as I heard the pounding.” He took my identity card.

Adham Zaweita at his home. Photo: Salma a-Deba'i, B'Tselem, 19 February 2009. A few minutes later,  the soldiers came down from the top floor, and one of them asked me, “Where's the person who slept here?” I replied that nobody's in the coop besides me. He said somebody had been sleeping in the coop every day for a month. I told him that nobody slept in the coop but me. The soldiers hit me with their hands and rifle butts and kicked me for a few minutes. The blows came from all directions.

Then the soldiers searched the coop. One of them had a knife and was handling the sacks of feed. I told another soldier, who might have been in charge, to look at what the other soldier was doing with the feed. He spoke with the other soldier, who stopped what he was doing with the feed.

The soldier with the knife grabbed me by the shirt collar and pulled me. He spoke in Hebrew, and I didn't understand what he said. He kicked me in the legs and lifted me up by the collar. He said, in Arabic, “Where's the guy who slept here?” I said that nobody slept in the coop.

The soldier asked me what was in the room at the edge of the coop. I said it was a small room in which I cook and eat, that it has a gas burner and refrigerator. He told me to put my hands behind my head and walk to the room. I did as he said. He called to other soldiers and they followed me. I went into the room and turned on the light and the soldiers came in after me. They overturned everything in the room, the refridgerator, the burner, and the food. After the search, they told me to sit on my knees and put my hands on my head. Then they hit and kicked me in the back for a few minutes.

The soldiers told me to leave the room and go to the coop's door, and then they beat me again. One of them pushed me, and I fell. They kicked me. They were kicking me like they kicked a ball. My left hand and back hurt a lot. I felt dizzy. When they stopped, they walked away and stopped about fifty meters from me.

After a few minutes passed, I managed to get up. I barely managed to close the door behind me, and walked toward the town. The soldiers saw me and shouted, “Where are you going?” I told them I didn't want to work and was going home.

I couldn't make it home. I got to the house of a relative of mine who lives at the edge of town and asked for help. He called my brothers and my father. They came immediately and took me to Rafidya Hospital. I was examined and X-rayed. The doctors said I had a torn ligament in my left hand and bruises. He told me not to move my hand for two weeks, and that I needed to rest and do nothing else. He gave me a shot to kill the pain and some more medications. Then I was released.

Adham ‘Abd a-Rahim Zaweita, 23, married with one child, is a laborer and a resident of Zawata in Nablus District. His testimony was given to Salma a-Deba'i at the witness's house on 19 February 2009.