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Testimony: A.M.A.M.


Name: A.M.A.M.
Age: 17
Date: 9 August 2021
Location: Beita, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 9 August 2021, a 17-year-old minor from Beita was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 5:00 a.m. from home. He reports being held in solitary confinement at Huwwara military base for nine days during interrogation. 
I woke up at around 5:00 a.m. to the sound of Israeli soldiers in my bedroom. About 10 soldiers were in my bedroom and many others were spread out around our house. They had climbed up the balcony, opened the window to my brother’s bedroom and told him to open up the front door. I was shocked as I tried to comprehend what was going on.
One of the soldiers told me to get ready because I was under arrest. They did not give my parents any documents and did not tell us why they wanted to arrest me. Within 10 minutes I was taken to the front porch where a soldier tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were tight and painful. 
After I was tied the soldiers took me outside and led me for about a kilometer to where a military jeep was waiting. When my parents could no longer see me, the soldiers started to kick and slap me. When we arrived at the jeep a soldier blindfolded me and pushed me into the back and made me sit on the metal floor between the soldiers’ legs.
Inside the jeep a soldier hit me on the head and broke my glasses. I was taken to Zatara checkpoint where I was left by a shipping container for about two hours. The soldiers who were nearby swore at me. I asked for some water and a soldier gave me some. After a couple of hours I was taken to Huwwara military base where I was searched in my boxer shorts. Then I was taken to a clinic inside Israel where I was given a Corona test because I was coughing.  When I tested negative I was taken back to Huwwara.
At Huwwara I was put in a cell where I was left in solitary confinement for nine days. The cell measured about 3x3 meters and had three metal bunkbeds. There was a window which let in some light. The walls were rough and painted black. The toilet was in the room. I was depressed in the cell and I was psychologically distressed. The following day I was taken to Salem for an interrogation.
The interrogator did not allow me to speak to a lawyer but told me I had the right to remain silent. He accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and told me two of my friends had confessed against me. He named my friends and I denied the accusation. He questioned me for about 45 minutes and was calm. He gave me the date of the incident which took place on a hill near my village. He did not show me any photographs or videos. At the end of the interrogation he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. I asked for a translation which he provided, and then I signed it after reading. After the interrogation I was taken back to solitary confinement.
The following day I had my first military court hearing. I was taken to Salem. My parents were not informed and they did not attend. The military judge refused to release me on bail and extended my detention. 
After spending nine days in solitary confinement I was taken to the quarantine section at Megiddo prison, inside Israel, where I was searched in my clothes. I spent nine more days in a cell by myself. 
I had three more hearings and at the last one, which was 17 days following my arrest, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to two months in prison and fined NIS 1,000. I was also given a suspended sentence. I thought the plea bargain was good because the prosecutor was asking for eight months in prison. 
After spending nine days at the quarantine section I was taken into the minors’ section at Megiddo where I spent the rest of my prison sentence. In prison I did not have any family visits because my sentence was too short. I played table tennis to pass the time and watched television. There were no classes because it was the summer holidays.