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Testimony: Settlers accompanied by soldiers throw stones at cars and houses, causing damage, Hebron, April 2009

Nasser D'ana, 42

Nasser D’ana

I live in Wadi a-Nasara, in the H-2 area of Hebron, which is under Israeli control. My house overlooks the dirt path connecting the road referred to as "Worshippers' Way," which runs from Kiryat Arba to the al-Ibrahimi Mosque (Tomb of the Patriarchs,) to Jabel Juhar. Concrete entry of cars to the dirt road from the direction of Worshippers' Way, and Palestinians park their cars behind the cubes. Some of the cars belong to residents of a-Ras, who are not allowed to get to their houses by car.

Yesterday [Saturday, 4 April], around 10:30 P.M., I was at home getting ready to go to sleep. Suddenly, I heard voices on the dirt path, below my house. I ran to the children's bedroom, opened the window, and saw a large group of settlers, more than fifty, of various ages, including women, walking with four soldiers, who were holding flashlights.

The soldiers and settlers passed by the concrete cubes at the entrance to our street and headed down the dirt path. They walked between the houses until they got to olive trees in the wadi, at the middle of the path between the concrete cubes and Jabel Juhar. It didn't appear that the soldiers were trying to get them to return to "Worshippers' Way" or prevent them from moving about in the area. It looked as if they were on a tour, with the soldiers accompanying them. They were speaking quietly among themselves. They stopped in the olive orchard for about ten minutes and then began to return, retracing their steps.

I watched them returning and saw a young settler stop and look around. I was afraid that he intended to do something, and right then, while I was thinking that, he picked up a stone and threw it at the car of my uncle Muhammad Nabih D'ana, who lives next-door. His car, a 1981 Subaru, was parked opposite his house. I saw and heard the rear window of the car shatter. I shouted, in Hebrew, to the settler, “What are you doing here?” Then, the soldiers aimed their rifles at my house, and one of them ordered me to shut up and stay inside. Other settlers began to throw stones at parked cars. I heard the stones strike the cars. I watched the settlers as they passed by my house, and then I went to the front door and continued to shout at them. I heard my uncle Muhammad D'ana and other neighbors shouting from their houses, but nobody went outside.

The settlers threw stones at our houses as they passed. I saw one settler go onto the roof of the Jabber family and throw a big rock at one of the cars, which I later learned belonged to Samer ‘Abd al-Karim D'ana, who had come to visit his brother-in-law Hazem D'ana, who is my neighbor. The soldiers didn't try to stop the settlers from throwing stones, and only shouted at the residents to keep quiet and stay in their houses.

When things had quieted down and I thought the settlers had left, I went outside to see the damage. I saw that the settlers had damaged about ten cars. One of them was my Subaru, whose windshield had been shattered.  The settlers also broke the side-view mirror on the passenger side of Hazem's brother's car and the windshield and rear window of Nizam Fakhri' a-Saleyma's Daihatsu, and of the Subaru Jesty belonging to ‘Abd al-‘Aziz a-Shantir. I saw another vehicle - I don't know who owns it - whose windshield had been smashed.

Immediately after the incident, various neighbors and I went and moved our vehicles because we were afraid the settlers would return and damage them again. We parked them in the olive orchard, which is farther away from "Worshipers' Way," and safer there. Then we went home. About half an hour later, I saw an army jeep enter the dirt road and a soldier photographed some of the vehicles that had been damaged.

My uncle Muhammad Nabih told me that afterwards he went to "Worshipers' Way," where he saw three or four army vehicles and spoke with the soldiers, asking them why they let the settlers get to our houses and damage our cars. The soldiers told him that he had to go to the police to file a complaint.

Nasser Badwan Ishaq D'ana, 41, married with four children ia s stonemason and a resident of Hebron. His testimony was given to Musa Abu Hashhash at the witness's house on 5 April 2009.