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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.B.

Name: M.B.
Age: 16 years
Date of incident: 9 September 2013
Location: Al 'Arrub refugee camp, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
                        
On 9 September 2013, a 16-year-old boy from the Al 'Arrub refugee camp, near Bethlehem, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:45 a.m. and accused of throwing stones.
 
“I was asleep when my mother woke me up at 2:45 a.m. She told me to get up because Israeli soldiers were outside. Six armed and masked soldiers came into our house. They asked for my ID and a soldier said to me: “You’ve been throwing stones, haven’t you?” They told me they were going to take me away. I got dressed and kissed my mother goodbye and told her not to worry. My mother was crying and shouting. I was a bit scared. The soldiers had a dog with them.”
 
“I was taken out of the house and my hands were tied. I asked a soldier to tie my hands in front, but he refused and kicked me and tied my hands behind my back with a single plastic tie. The tie was very tight and left marks on my wrists. They then blindfolded me and led me down the street. I could hear the dog behind me and was afraid that it might bite. I was put in the back of a troop carrier with other young men from the camp. We were taken to Gush Etzion settlement where we arrived at around 5:00 a.m.”
 
“On arrival at Etzion I was asked some questions about my health by a doctor in military uniform. My blindfold was removed but I remained tied. After the questions, the blindfold was replaced. I was then led outside where I waited for about 15 minutes before I was interrogated. The interrogator introduced himself as 'Yona’. I asked him for some water and he brought me some. He had a tape recorder in front of him. He removed the blindfold and the hand tie. He told me that I was with the young men on the day the military tower at the entrance to the camp was burned. I denied this and told him I was at my grandparents’ house until noon. He then told me to sign a document written in Hebrew. I refused to sign. I was then taken outside again and re-tied.”
 
“I waited outside for a short time and then I was interrogated a second time by someone who said he was from the Shin Bet. He accused me of throwing stones and claimed that others had provided confessions against me. He interrogated me for about two hours during which time my hands were tied. I asked him to take off the plastic ties because they were painful, but he refused. He shouted at me and said things in Hebrew. His Arabic was very poor. As far as I could tell the interrogation was not recorded. I was not told that I had any rights but later I asked for a lawyer and I was allowed to call one. The lawyer told me not to be afraid. At the end of the interrogation I confessed to throwing six stones at a military jeep, but denied hitting it. I confessed because I got tired of being interrogated. I did not sign any papers, it was a verbal confession. After I confessed they blindfolded me and took me outside. By then it was afternoon and I had not eaten anything. I was then taken to Ofer prison.”
 
“On arrival at Ofer I was searched and then put in a room with five other young men. It was now almost sunset. On Thursday, 12 September, I was taken to Ofer military court. I was released on Sunday, 15 September, after my parents agreed to pay a fine of NIS 1,000. My father picked me up at the checkpoint and we arrived home at 10:00 p.m.”