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Testimony: T.A.M.

Name: T.A.M.
Age: 20 years
Date of incident: 19 May 2014
Location: Deir Nidham, West Bank
Accusation: None
On 19 May 2014, three brothers (20, 17 and 13 years) from Deir Nidham, in the West Bank, are detained for up to five hours before the youngest boy is verbally summoned to attend an interrogation.
“It was 5:30 p.m. when one of my brothers, who is 17-years-old, called me to say he was being held by Israeli soldiers at the entrance to the village. He wanted me to bring his identity card to show to the soldiers. I took his identity card and went to where my brother was being held and showed it to the soldiers. They also asked to see my identity card. There were five or six soldiers and one military jeep. I tried to understand what the issue was so I asked one of the soldiers why they were holding my brother. The soldier responded by swearing at me and called me a son of a whore and pushed me aggressively. About 15 minutes later a troop carrier arrived and the soldier who pushed me signaled to the soldiers in the troop carrier to arrest me. When I asked why I was being arrested one of the soldiers said in good Arabic it was because I asked too many questions. They also arrested my brother. By now it was around 7:30 p.m.”
“I was blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back with one plastic tie. When I complained that the tie was causing me pain the soldier pulled the tie even tighter. I was pushed inside the troop carrier where I sat on a seat. My brother was also tied and blindfolded and put in the vehicle with me. The vehicle drove for about 10 minutes before it stopped near the water spring on the main road leading from our village to the nearby Israeli settlement of Halamish. They made us wait in the vehicle for about 30 minutes before they drove us back to the entrance of the village. By then it was around 9:00 p.m.”
“When we arrived at the entrance to the village, a soldier asked me to call my younger brother, who is 13-years-old, and ask him to come down to the entrance of the village. I called my uncle, because my father was traveling, and within 15 minutes he came with my younger brother. The commander told my younger brother that an Israeli policeman in Binyamin settlement wanted to speak to him on the phone. The policeman told my younger brother he wanted him to show up at Binyamin police station at 10:00 a.m. the following day. He also told him to bring another boy from our village along with him. Then they released us at around 10:00 p.m. They didn’t give us back our identity cards and said they would give them back to us when the two boys hand themselves over to the police the following day.”
“The next day my family decided not to send my 13-year-old brother to the Israeli police station at Binyamin because my father was away and it was in the middle of school exams. Also the soldiers did not give us anything in writing. On Thursday, 22 May, at around 2:30 a.m., Israeli soldiers broke into our house and arrested my younger brother. It was a terrifying night raid especially for my younger sisters and my mother. My brother was held for four days before he was released without charge. The police never gave us back our identity cards. We had to issue new ones. My brother 17-year-old needed his identity card to sit for his final high school exams and luckily we managed to have new identity cards issued just in time.”