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Testimony: H.A.H.

 Name:  H.A.H.
 Age:  16
 Date of incident:
 23 December 2014
 Location:  Beit Ummar, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 23 December 2014, a 16-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes at 3:00 p.m. He reports ill-treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being sentenced to 3 months in prison. 

I was arrested near the settlement of Karmi Zur at around 3.00 p.m. There were clashes at the time between youth from my town and Israeli soldiers. Suddenly soldiers with four dogs appeared and they let their dogs chase me. The dogs ran after me very fast and I couldn’t run fast enough to escape. I ran for about 150 meters when the dogs got hold of me and the soldiers came running. The dogs bit me all over my body and the soldiers appeared to be pleased. One dog bit me on my left shoulder and the other on my right leg and I started to bleed heavily. I screamed and pleaded with the soldiers to take the dogs away but to no avail. A few minutes later the soldiers removed the dogs.
I was then tied to the front with one plastic tie which was painful. The soldiers then dragged me through the valley towards the settlement of Karmi Zur. I was led for about 30 minutes. My father and other people from the town tried to get me released but they did not succeed. When we arrived at the gate to the settlement the soldiers put me in a military jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. The jeep waited for about 10 minutes until an army ambulance arrived.
I was treated in the ambulance and a medical officer cleaned and bandaged my wounds. He also sprayed a painkiller on the wound. I remained in the ambulance for about two hours before I was taken to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. The ambulance drove for about an hour before we arrived at the emergency room where I received additional medical treatment. I was then hospitalized.
I was kept in a hospital room by myself with soldiers guarding me the whole time. I was also tied to the hospital bed. I remained in hospital for two days before being taken to the Israeli police station in the settlement of Etzion. My parents were not able to visit me in hospital. When the ambulance arrived at Etzion I was immediately taken for interrogation.
The interrogator wore an Israeli police uniform. There was also a soldier in the room with him. The interrogator did not inform me of my rights. He immediately started to interrogate me and accused me of throwing stones near the settlement. He claimed that one of the stones I threw hit a soldier. I denied the accusation. I was interrogated about previous incidents and accused of of throwing stones at soldiers on a number of occasions. I confessed to throwing a stone but denied that it hit a soldier. The interrogation lasted for about three hours.
In the end the interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and Arabic and asked me to sign it but I refused. I told the interrogator I was illiterate and could not read or write. I was then photographed and fingerprinted. The interrogator then phoned my father and told him I was being detained at Etzion and asked him to appoint a lawyer. I was then taken to a cell in Etzion where I spent one night. The following day I was transferred to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. The journey took about one-and-a-half hours and I was handcuffed.
On arrival at Ofer prison I was strip searched before being taken to Section 13. Two days later I was taken to the military court and my detention was extended. My mother was there and a lawyer.
I had other military court hearings which were adjourned several times. My lawyer was changed and the second lawyer showed the military judge a video that showed what had happened to me during arrest. The judge demanded that the soldier who claimed he had been hit by a stone which I threw come to court but he never did. The hearing was adjourned for 72 hours to allow the soldier to appear but he never did. I was released on 29 March 2015 after being sentenced to three months in prison. In prison I studied Arabic and mathematics.