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טובי בנינו בפעילות בכפרים
שתי עדויות ששמענו ליד שכם
a testimony from beit furik


Leonardo da Vinci, St Jerome, c.1480

hebrew




a testimony from urif




























 







 


 

 


Testimony of Fadi Rajeb Hanani from the village of Beit Furik
about the Israeli army's attack on his home, on Friday 20.4.07


The large family house contains a greengrocers shop open to the road, and two residential floors Fadi, his wife an 5 children live on the top floor, his brother and family on the bottom floor.

Here is what we heard from Fadi, his brothers and children:

On Friday, 20.4.07, around 4 p.m., 3 jeeps (army and border patrol) entered the village. As usual, children threw stones. Fadi immediately closed shop and got indoor with all his children and his wife. With them were also his sister-in-law and her baby.
The jeeps drove in back of the house and there, from amongst the olive trees, opened fire on the house, hitting the solar plate on the roof. Then the jeeps came back and parked opposite the house, as the soldiers fired for about 20 minutes on the entrance to the house, the balconies and windows. (We saw and photographed the numerous bullet hits around the entrance door handle, various parts of the external walls, balconies as well as shattered window panes. T.H.) All the while, the families were still indoors, and were not told a thing. After about 20 minutes, a soldier called out in Arabic, through a megaphone, for the "armed man to come downstairs and out of the house!" The family was finally informed that the army was convinced that an armed fighter was hiding in their home. But there was no such man. Another 20 minutes went by with continued warnings and shooting. About 40 minutes into this, Fadi clutching the smallest baby in his arms stood behind the stairwell door upsetairs and tried to shout as loud as he could, again and again "There is no one armed here! These are all small children!" No one seemed to hear him. The shooting continued.

Finally the soldiers called out to Fadi to come outside with the children. He was already dazed and exhausted. In a horrendous moment by the main entry to the house, he wanted to exit with the baby and his wife tried to keep him back in order to go out first so that she would be the first killed, and not he. It took a while for him to persuade his 6-year old twins to come out as well.

The soldiers continued to question him: "Where's the insurgent?" Fadi: "What insurgent?" Soldiers: "The one who shot at us from your second story window."
Fadi: "There is no insurgent in our home." Soldiers: "Yes there is. And he shot two bullets at the army, from your kitchen.."
The officer present took Fadi's ID number and name and instructed him to talk with the GSS on a mobile phone.
GSS: "You are now standing on the east side of your house. Inside, upstairs, there is an armed insurgent. Turn him in or we demolish your house." 2 minutes later, the GSS on the officer's phone asks Fadi: "Who lives next door to you?" Fadi: My brothers." GSS: "So maybe one of them is the insurgent upstairs. Tell him to come downstairs immediately and turn himself in. This way he'll save your house. Otherwise, in one hour from now it will lie in ruins."
All the while the soldiers kept calling through the megaphone and shooting at the house. Ambulances had arrived to take about 5 people earlier hurt by rubber bullets. At this point there were already 7 jeeps in front of the house. It was close to 8 p.m.

A fourth phone conversation with the GSS who are still trying to convince Fadi of the presence of an armed insurgent upstairs who must be turned in, or else the house will be demolished. The GSS then instructed the officer to separate Fadi from his 12-year old eldest son, Osama. "Who was in your home?" Osama: "Me, my mother, brothers and sisters and father, and my aunt and baby cousin." GSS: "Is one of your uncles upstairs?" Osama: "No." GSS: "Then who shot at the army from upstairs?" 'Osama: "No one."
The family offered to serve as human shields to the soldiers who would enter and search the house. The soldiers refused. A bulldozer arrived, moved around the neighborhood, did nothing. It was already 9 p.m.

The women and children were taken to the neighbors. 2 more jeeps arrived, more troops, while the GSS called for the fifth and last time and spoke with Fadi. "The weapons upstairs we're going in to take them. Is there a secret exit from the house?"
Fadi: "No, just the main front door." GSS: "For the last time, turn in the insurgent and we won't demolish your house." During this exchange, soldiers shot at the house from neighboring houses. Fadi: "If you find any weapons, take me." GSS: "If we find nothing, we'll know it was you who fired." Soldiers moved Fadi about 100 meters away from the house, entered it, searched, made a mess, tore mattresses, and threw concussion grenades that charred blankets and mats and made an even filthier mess. They found nothing.

Close to 10 p.m. the officer handed Fadi back his ID.
Fadi asked him, "Where are the weapons you found?" The officer snickered viciously and took off, not a word of explanation or apology.
                                                              

Tal H
aran and Noa Perelson, Help in translating from Arabic: N.
Our visit in Beit Furik: Sunday, 22.4.07, PM

 
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