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Women's Voices: Hasna D. - Settler violence

Name: Hasna D.
Age: 29
Location: Duma, Nablus, West Bank
Nature of incident: Settler violence
Date of incident: 20 July 2016

On 20 July 2016, suspected settlers set house on fire at around 3:00 a.m. in the village of Duma and cause damage to the house.  

Hasna is a 29 year old mother of 3 children aged 10 to 2.5 from the village of Duma in the West Bank.
 
“On 20 July 2016, at around 3:00 a.m., I was still up in my bedroom, as I have been experiencing problems sleeping at night ever since settlers burned down my neighbor’s house about a year ago. I am hyper-vigilant and I wake up to the slightest sound at night.”
 
“I suddenly heard unusual noise around the house, I woke my husband up and we both looked out the window but we couldn’t see anything. My husband told me not to worry and said he wanted to go back to sleep.”
 
“I left my husband in the bedroom and went to check on my children, who were sleeping in their bedrooms; I wanted to make sure they were all right. All of a sudden I heard our neighbor’s dogs barking loudly so I looked out again but it was too dark to see. Then I heard some movement under the trees and I heard people talking. They were speaking softly so I couldn’t understand what they were talking about.”
 
“Seconds later my husband came rushing into the children’s bedroom yelling and shouting saying settler had thrown flammable material inside our bedroom. My husband and I quickly picked the children up and went to the roof and I started to call for help. Our neighbours heard and came to the rescue and helped us try to put out the fire. By this time the perpetrators had already gone.”
 
“Then we went outside. The house was badly damaged by the fire but thankfully no one was hurt. My husband and I took the children to his parents’ house which is not too far away, while people who came to help continued to try to put out the fire.”
 
“About two hours later three Israeli military jeeps showed upin front of my husband’s parents’ house. About 10 Israeli soldiers in full military gear stepped out of the jeep and we went outside to see what they wanted.”
 
“The commander asked for my husband then gave orders to the soldiers to arrest him. The soldiers led my husband towards the jeep without telling us the reason. About three hours later, my husband came back home and told me that he was detained and questioned at Al-Maskubieh in Jerusalem.”
 
“He told me that during the questioning, the officer tried to put words in his mouth; hinting that the fire was a result of an electric short or a gas explosion. My husband held on to his story and insisted that the arson was deliberately caused by settlers.”
 
“I am not at all surprised by the incident as my husband and I suspected the settlers would attack our village again and again. We also knew our house was going to be targeted because my husband was a witness in the first case when our neighbour’s house was burned down and three family members died as a result. It is worth mentioning that the house of the other witness was also burned by settlers about 3 months ago.”
 

“I have been staying at my husband’s parents’ house since the incident which is hard for me and the children. My younger daughter Majeda wets herself involuntarily. My other children have problems sleeping at night. I am chronically exhausted from lack of sleep and anxiety. I worry all the time.”


keyword: Violence against women