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Testimony: M.A.A.T.


Name: M.A.A.T.
Age: 17
Date of incident: 8 March 2016
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Shooting / starting fire
On 8 March 2016, a 17-year-old youth from Beit Fajjar is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He is released 9 days later.
I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and found an Israeli intelligence officer in my bedroom. The officer told me to get dressed quickly because I was under arrest. I wasn’t told why I was being arrested.
Some soldiers then took me out of the house where my hands were tied in front of me with one plastic tie. The tie was not painful. I was also blindfolded and put in the back of a jeep where I sat on the metal floor. The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to the police station inside Etzion settlement.
As soon as we arrived at Etzion I was taken to see a doctor who examined me after removing the blindfold. I was then re-blindfolded and taken to a room where I sat on a chair until around 8:00 a.m. I was then taken for interrogation.
The interrogator told me his name was Ali. He removed the tie and the blindfold. He did not inform me of any rights and immediately accused me of firing at Israeli soldiers in our village. I denied the accusation. He then accused me of starting a fire in a field near the village. He said there were confessions against me from other boys in the village. I asked him to tell me which boys but he never did.
Another interrogator then joined in. He told me his name was Yossi. They both were shouting and repeating the same accusations. The interrogation lasted for about three hours. I was then tied and blindfolded and taken back to the room where I was earlier. I wasn’t given any food or drink but I was allowed to use the toilet. At around 7:00 p.m. I was taken back to the interrogation room.
The interrogator removed the tie and the blindfold and interrogated me for about two hours. This time he told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to call a lawyer. He called my father and told him I was at Etzion and asked him to appoint a lawyer for me. He allowed me to speak to my father. He then directed the same accusations to me but I continued to deny them. He swore at me and called me son of a whore. He then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it and I did without understanding what it said.
Then they took my photograph and my fingerprints. I was blindfolded and tied as before and taken to a courtyard where I sat on a chair until 6:00 a.m. I was then taken to a cell where I was strip searched. The tie and the blindfold were removed and I remained in the cell until Thursday.
At around 7:00 a.m. on Thursday I was handcuffed and shackled and put in a troop carrier which drove to Ofer military court. We arrived at Ofer at around 9:00 a.m. I was immediately taken into the military  court. A lawyer was there to represent me but my parents were not. The hearing was adjourned until Monday. On Monday my parents did not attend because they were not informed and the hearing was adjourned to the following day.
The following day the military court decided to release me after paying a fine of NIS 1,000. My parents paid the fine on Thursday and I was released from Ofer on 17 March at around 7:00 p.m. My cousin was waiting for me outside Ofer and I spent the night with him in Ramallah and went home the following day. I don’t know whether my file has been closed or not.