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Testimony: W.A.J.

 Name:  W.A.J.
 Age:  16 years
 Date of incident:  28 January 2015
 Location:  Zububa, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 28 January 2015, a partially blind youth is arrested by Israeli soldiers and accused of throwing stones at the Wall. He is released without charge six hours later. 

“I was with my friend playing when suddenly some other boys came running and started to throw stones at the Wall. It was around 2.30 p.m. This is what a friend of mine told me he saw because I am partially blind. My friend also told me that Israeli soldiers chased the boys who were throwing stones who ran away as soon as they saw the soldiers. My friend and I did not run away because we didn’t do anything wrong. My friend and I then decided to go home.”
“We walked a short distance and then we heard the soldiers ordering us to stop. My friend and I stopped and the soldiers arrested us. They asked me why I was throwing stones. I told them I wasn’t throwing stones and explained that I was partially blind. A soldier held me by the hand and walked me towards the Wall. He dragged me through a hole in the Wall where there was barbed wire. I couldn’t see properly and a soldier pushed me through the hole. My trousers were torn on the barbed wire. The soldier shouted at me and told me to walk faster. I tried to walk faster but I couldn’t and I lost my shoes and nearly fell down. I walked bare foot for a short while but I couldn’t continue any longer. The soldiers shouted at me again and some of them made fun of me. They were singing and clapping and saying I was a clever boy. When I tried to speak to them they told me to shut up.”
“I was then put in the back of a jeep and sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about 10 minutes before stopping. I was taken to a room. One soldier, who already knew I was partially blind, asked me to open the door. When I told him I couldn’t see properly he shouted at me and opened the door himself. I was taken inside and asked to sit on the floor.”
“A short time later a soldier came by and asked me whether I wanted to drink some beer. He then asked me to cross my legs as if I were praying. I was in pain sitting cross legged and when I adjusted my position the soldiers yelled at me and ordered me to sit like before. I remained in this position for about an hour. A soldier then asked me to turn my face to the wall and held me violently and tore my jacket. A soldier cocked his gun as if he was going to shoot me. He pressed his gun against my back and I was very scared. A soldier then asked me why I was throwing stones. I told him I didn’t throw stones and showed him my clean hands.”
“I remained in the room until around 7.00 p.m. when a soldier searched me and took my mobile phone out of my pocket and started to play with it. I remained in the room until around 8.00 p.m. when I was handed over to the Palestinian police. I was taken to Jenin police station where I gave a statement and then I went home. I arrived home at around 10.00 p.m.”