||An Nabi Saleh, West Bank
|Date of incident:
||15 January 2016
|Nature of incident:
On 15 January 2016, Israeli soldiers entered the village of An Nabi Saleh after the weekly protest and fired tear gas in and around the house of a well known local activist.
- My house is located near the entrance to our village in front of a petrol station. Whenever Israeli soldiers enter our village we are usually the first to see them. Soldiers started to raid our village about six years ago after we started our weekly protest against the nearby settlement of Halamish. Every time we try to demonstrate on Fridays the soldiers enter the village and there are clashes in front of the petrol station. Sometimes they come into the village more than once during the week.
- On Friday, 15 Januray 2016, at about 3:30 p.m., I was at home preparing a late lunch with my husband, my nine-year-old nephew Hisham, and my 10-year-old cousin Mohammad and another boy called Ahmad, who is 11-years-old. I was waiting for our children to come and eat when I suddenly heard children yelling that there were Israeli jeeps in the village. This was unusual as our weekly protest had ended about two hours earlier and the soldiers had already been and gone from the village.
- We all went to the roof of our house to see what was going on. My husband took his video camera with him to document the incident. For the past six-years my husband has documented all the incidents in our village involving Israeli soldiers with a video-camera provided by the Israeli rights organisation, B’tselem.
- When we got to the roof I saw a military jeep go by and a troop carrier stop near our house. Three soldiers stepped out of the troop carrier and one pointed his weapon towards us and fired a tear gas canister. The canister landed nearby and the wind blew the gas towards the roof where we were standing. We all then left the roof and went down the stairs into the house.
- As we were on our way down the stairs we heard the sound of a breaking window and the house started to fill up with tear gas. The house started to fill up with tear gas from one canister inside and from gas outside. My husband, Bilal, continued on and tried to open some windows to ventilate the gas. Ahmad went back up to the roof whilst the rest of us tried to go outside. As soon as we stepped outside some soldiers threw a number of tear gas canisters in our direction.
- At this point I became really scared particularly for the children because it was becoming very difficult to breathe. I didn’t know how I was going to protect the children or what I should do. The children began to scream louder and louder and I was so tense I found it difficult to make a decision. I decided to take Hisham, who was still with me, to my brother’s house which is about 20 metres away. I later found out that my husband took the other child to the basement of our house where they found an area relatively clear from tear gas and Bilal covered their mouths and noses with scarves. Ahamd, who was on the roof, managed to find a ladder and escape away from the house.
- As I was running towards my brother’s house the soldiers threw another tear gas canister in front of me. I sat down on the ground for about a minute to allow the gas to disperse above me and then I continued on to my brother’s house. I only just managed to make it to the house before a collapsed due to all the gas I had inhaled.
- My mother and sister-in-law were at my brother’s house and they tried to give me some first aid. Meanwhile our neighbor, Atallah Tamimi , saw what was going on and brought his car to my brother’s house in order to take me to the hospital.
- Meanwhile there were a number of soldiers standing outside the front door to my brother’s house yelling at us. My step-father and Atallah yelled back at the soldiers telling them that they had to take me to the hospital. Then my husband showed up and he carried me out of the house. While the soldiers argued with my step-father, Bilal put me in Atallah ’s car with my mother and Atallah drove us to the hospital in the town of Salfeet.
- I stayed at the hospital for about three hours and then came home with Bilal who arrived after he had made sure all the children were safe. For the next two days I stayed at my brother’s house because our house still smelled of gas.
- Three days after the event I am still taking medication and I fell tension in all my muscles and I suffer from stomach aches. Our 10-year-old son, Samir, was so traumatized that he doesn’t want to go home because he thinks he will die.