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Home » Children »

Testimony: A.J.T.

 Name:  A.J.T.
 Age:  14 years
 Date of incident:  5 March 2014
 Location:  Deir Nidham, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 5 March 2015, a 14-year-old boy is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2.30 p.m. and is detained for over six hours before being released. The evidence suggests that this was an act of collective punishment. 

“I was working in our front garden with four friends when about a dozen Israeli soldiers showed up on foot. It was around 2.30 p.m. We were very surprised to see the soldiers in the middle of the village without any reason. There were no demonstrations or stone throwing incidents at the time. My friends were very scared and ran away but the soldiers ran after them and arrested them. One of the soldiers, who spoke very good Arabic, started to shout at us saying he was going to teach the village a lesson.”
 
“A soldier grabbed me by my shoulder and led me towards some waiting military jeeps. I was blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back with one plastic tie. The tie was painful. When we arrived at the jeeps I tried to free myself but a soldier slapped me very hard on my neck. He pushed me into the back of the jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. The jeep drove for about 10 minutes to the nearby Israeli military base.”
 
“A soldier took me into a room where I remained by myself for about 30 minutes. I was then taken to a courtyard where I sat in the sun for another 30 minutes. A soldier came and asked me why I throw stones. I told him I don’t throw stones. He swore at me and called my mother and sister whores. He told me that my friends had already been released because they confessed about themselves and about me. The soldier did not tell me I had the right to remain silent or the right to see a lawyer. He then told me he was going to electrocute me and then shoot me. He grabbed me and walked me towards a room and made me stand in front of the door. He told me this is the electrocution room. I was very scared. He walked me back and on the way he deliberately put his foot in front of me to trip me. I fell to the ground.”
 
“I was then photographed and my personal details were recorded. I wasn’t given any food but I was allowed to drink and to use the bathroom. At around 8.00 p.m. I was put in the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes. The air conditioner was turned on and I felt very cold. A soldier asked me if I was hungry and I said I was. He sarcastically told me he was going to bring me a Pizza. The jeep drove to an abandoned dark area near my village and the soldier told me to find my own way home. It was around 9.00 p.m. I was very scared of wild boar but I made it home safely. When I got home I found out that my mother was told to wait for me at the entrance to the nearby settlement of Halamish. She came home when I called her to say I was released.”
 
“When my friends were released they told me the soldiers had told them I had confessed against them. Some people in the village actually believe that I confessed against my friends but I never did. They relate to me as if I betrayed my friends. I don’t like it when I see soldiers in the village and I try to avoid them. I worry that if they arrest me again they will force me to confess against someone.”

As well as being Palestinian, A.J.T. is a US citizen since birth.