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Testimony: I.S.M.Q.


Name: I.S.M.Q.
Age: 17
Date: 23 October 2018
Location: Jayyus, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 23 October 2018, a 17-year-old youth from Jayyus is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He reports being informed of his right to silence and speaking to a lawyer over the phone prior to being interrogated.

I woke up to noise in my bedroom. It was around 2:00 a.m.  I looked up and saw around 10 Israeli soldiers above my head. My mother later told me they had entered our home without knocking at the door; they broke the front door downstairs and walked into the building. 
The commander told me I was under arrest but did not give me a reason. He showed my mother some photographs and asked her to identify me and my brother and she did. The commander did not give us any documents.
After I got dressed a soldier tied my hands to the front while I was still inside the house. He tied me with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. Later when the interrogator removed the tie I had lost all sensation in my palms. Once outside I was also blindfolded.
I was then taken to the back of a military jeep where I sat on the metal floor. The jeep drove to a nearby village and arrested another boy. People in that village threw stones at the jeep and whenever a stone hit the jeep the soldiers started to swear at me. 
Next I was taken to the military base at the nearby settlement of Zufin. At the base I was taken to a shipping container where I sat on the floor for about 30 minutes. During this time soldiers swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”. 
Then I was examined by a doctor. He removed the blindfold and took a blood sample and took my temperature and my blood pressure and my pulse. Then I was blindfolded again and left by the front gate for a few hours. In the early hours of the morning I was taken to the settlement of Qedumim for interrogation. 
At Qedumim I waited for a short while and then I was taken for interrogation. I did not know what time it was.    
The interrogator wore civilian clothes. He removed the blindfold and the plastic tie and replaced it with handcuffs. He had a camera on a tripod in the room and a voice recorder. He introduced himself and told me I had the right to remain silent. Then he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me I had the right to remain silent and told me not be scared and not to confess.  The interrogator put the phone on loud speaker while I spoke to the lawyer and he remained in the room and listened to the conversation.
Then the interrogator told me my village caused a lot of trouble for soldiers. He told me in spite of the heavy price the village had paid in terms of people killed and others locked up in prison the village still had not learned the lesson. 
Then the interrogator told me he was going to show me some photographs and warned me not to deny that it was me in the photos. When he showed me the photographs I told him I did not know anyone. Then he showed me more photographs. In the beginning I denied it was me and my brother. The interrogator did not believe me and asked me to look closely at the face: the nose, the mouth and the eyes. He told me if I did not confess he was going to implicate me in a thousand other more serious accusations. Then he commented on the fact that I was wearing the same shirt seen in the photograph. In the end I felt I could no longer deny it. I told the interrogator my brother and I were standing near the Wall during clashes doing nothing.
Then he started to ask me about other boys and wanted me to give him names but I did not give any information. The interrogation lasted for about one-and-a-half hours. In the end he showed me some documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign. 
After the interrogation was over they took my photograph and fingerprints and took me to Huwwara military base. At Huwwara I was strip searched and then I was taken to a small cell by myself. The cell was filthy and had a strong stench of urine in it. I slept there one night and then I was taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel. 
The following day I was taken to the military court. My detention was extended and the hearing was adjourned. I had four military court hearings which my parents attended. In the end I was sentenced to 6 months in prison and fined 2,000 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence but I did not understand the details. 
I ended up having my sentence reduced and I was released on 6 February 2019. My brother and uncles met me at the checkpoint and drove me home. I arrived home at around 9:30 p.m. In prison I attended classes and studied mathematics, Hebrew and Arabic. My parents visited me twice in prison.