Press Release - June 02, 2002
Addameer has received a case of a 20-year old Palestinian man from Jenin, Zeidan Mohammed Said Zeidan, who was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli soldiers on 8 May. This case is significant not for the fact that Zeidan was shot, but rather because the Israeli military is attempting to cover up the fact of his deliberate wounding with the claim that Zeidan was injured while attempting to carry out a suicide bombing. The facts indicate clearly that this claim is a complete falsification - Zeidan was shot and seriously injured while going about his daily life and was then placed under arrest. He had no explosives with him, and there is no evidence that he was injured by an explosion.
Zeidan usually began work in the early morning carrying bags of sweets, cakes and perfumes to sell in villages inside the Green Line to earn money to support himself and his family. Zeidan’s story began as usual on 8 May as he left early in the morning for work. After he entered the Green Line near the Megiddo crossing next to Umm el Fahm village, he was surprised by members of an Israeli military force who shot at him and wounded him in his stomach, specifically in his belly button.
At the time of the shooting, Israeli media reported that Zeidan was attempting to carry out a suicide bombing and was concealing explosive devices. According to Israeli media, his attempt failed when the explosives malfunctioned and he was injured due to a partial explosion. Pictures claiming to prove this were broadcast on television screens across the world.
Addameer requested lawyer Mohammed Na’mni to follow up this case. Na’mni faced many complicated procedures before he was able to meet with Zeidan. Finally, Na’mni met with him twice in Afula Hospital, where he was told that police had requested that Zeidan be held for 30 days but the court had agreed to hold him for only 10 days. The director of the injury section in the hospital told Na’mni that Zeidan’s condition was stable but he would require a relatively long period of treatment and maybe he would be transferred to Ramle Prison hospital to continue his treatment.
Zeidan stated in his first interview on 23 May that he had concealed an explosive device but Na’mni doubted Zeidan’s confession. He asked the police to give him all the documents in Zeidan’s interrogation file and raised the following questions:
  • If Zeidan’s injuries resulted from an explosion why are there no wounds on his body resulting from this explosion? His wounds clearly resulted from being shot.
  • At the time of his injury, Zeidan was shown on television lying on the ground with no signs of injuries resulting from an explosion. Furthermore, there was a barrier placed near Zeidan’s body that was surrounded by many people and soldiers while a remote-controlled machine was examining Zeidan’s body. Why were these individuals allowed to stay so close to the body while explosive experts were still searching for explosive devices?
  • According to Na’mni’s own observations, there were no injuries to Zeidan’s hands, face, head or legs. This is clearly not to be expected if Zeidan was wounded while holding an explosive device.
  • There is no report from explosions experts in the forensic report or the medical report. The medical report should contain information about the source of injuries. There is no indication of injuries resulting from an explosion, even partial.
These questions increased Nam’ni’s suspicions that Zeidan had confessed as a result of fear and that the story of the explosion had been concocted in order to cover-up the shooting of Zeidan by the soldiers.
In a second interview on 30 May, Zeidan spoke in a weak voice and told Na’mni that he was very scared. He asked the lawyer if he would be beaten and tortured if he retracted from his first affidavit which he now stated was not true.
Zeidan’s new affidavit confirmed all the questions that Na’mni had asked. According to Israeli law, a confession by itself is not enough for conviction, there must also be additional evidence. This evidence does not exist and after Zeidan’s new affidavit his case will take another turn. The only explanation for the Israeli army’s insistence on trying to obtain a conviction for Zeidan is their fear that the truth will come out. Zeidan was shot and seriously wounded in cold blood by a trigger-happy soldier despite the fact he was not carrying any explosive devices.
Addameer is calling for the immediate release of Zeidan and the prosecution of those soldiers responsible for shooting him. Addameer will continue to follow-up the case of Zeidan and provide further information as it becomes available.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 at 10:31 am and is filed under Addameer Press Releases 2002. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.