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Testimony: A.M.H.F.


Name: A.M.H.F.
Age: 16
Date of incident: 20 September 2016
Location: Dheisheh camp, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones, Molotovs
On 20 September 2016, a 16-year-old youth from Dheisheh refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 1:30 a.m. After refusing to name boys throwing stones he is accused of throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs.
I woke up to the sound of Israeli soldiers in my bedroom. It was around 1:30 a.m. The soldiers had raided our house while I was asleep. The soldiers asked me to accompany them to the living room. My father was already in the living room and a soldier gave him a document with details about my arrest. They asked my father to sign the document and he did. The soldiers remained inside our house for about 30 minutes.
At around 2:00 a.m. the soldiers took me out of the house and made me walk for about 30 minutes to a nearby archeological site where they tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was a bit tight but not too much. I was also blindfolded. I was then put in the back of a military jeep and made to sit on the metal floor.
The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to a nearby military base. I heard other detainees say it was the base at the entrance to Beit Jala. The soldiers took me out of the jeep and made me sit on the ground in a courtyard. It was a very cold night and I couldn’t sleep. I remained on the ground until around 6:30 a.m.
At around 6:30 a.m. I was put back in the jeep and made me sit on the floor again. The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement.
On arrival at Etzion I was taken to a small room with some chairs where a doctor examined me. At around 9:00 a.m. I was taken to another courtyard near the interrogation rooms where I stood in the sun for about four hours. During this time the soldiers allowed me to use the toilet and to drink water but they did not bring me any food. I was then taken for interrogation at around 1:00 p.m.
The interrogator was in civilian clothes and tried to play “good cop” with me. He did not inform me of my rights but he asked me whether I wanted to eat or drink anything. He removed the blindfold and the tie and showed me some pictures of young men and wanted me to say they took part in throwing stones at soldiers. He told me if I gave him 10 names he would send me home. I told him I didn’t know any of the men in the pictures.
Then he accused me of throwing stones, pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails at soldiers. He also accused me of making explosives. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about.  He interrogated me for about two hours and I denied the accusations. During this time the interrogator raised his voice occasionally but in general he wasn’t too aggressive. He did not show me any documents. Then he took me to see another interrogator who showed me a document that said I had the right to consult with a lawyer. He asked me to sign it and I did.
He accused me of the same accusations and was typing on a computer. He also had a tape recorder in the room. I continued to deny the accusations. Then he printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. I told him I wasn’t going to sign anything in Hebrew which I didn’t understand. Then he took my fingerprints and photograph. I was then strip searched and taken into a cell where I remained until around 9:00 p.m.
At around 9:00 p.m. soldiers handcuffed and shackled me and took me to the back of a police car where I sat on a seat. The car drove for about 90 minutes to Ofer prison. At Ofer I was strip searched again and taken into Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were there and a lawyer and I was allowed to speak to them. The hearing was adjourned.
I had two more military court hearings. On the last one the court decided to release me in return for 1,000 shekels. My lawyer told me he would inform me if the court decides to look into my case any further.
I was released on 26 September 2016 at around 9:00 p.m. I went home with my parents.