|Date:||3 September 2019|
|Location:||Beit Ummar, West Bank|
On 3 September 2019, a 16-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports being told that he had the right to remain silent but his father’s work permit would be revoked if he exercised the right.
I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. to the sound of loud banging at our front door. My sister came to my bedroom and told me to stay in bed. Then I heard loud voices in the house. I opened my bedroom door and saw about nine Israeli soldiers in our home.
The commander asked me for my name and then asked to see my phone. Then the commander told me I was under arrest but did not give a reason and did not give my parents any documents.
The soldiers searched our house and then they told me to get dressed. I barely had time to dress before they took me outside and painfully tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties on top of each other. They also blindfolded me.
I was then led on foot for about a kilometer to an area where some military jeeps were waiting. They pushed me inside one of the jeeps and made me sit on the metal floor.
The jeep took me to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was left on the ground in an open area for about six hours. At around noon I was taken for interrogation.
There were four interrogators in the room. One of them removed the blindfold and the ties and warmly welcomed me and called me by name. He told me I had the right to remain silent but if I did he was going to humiliate me. He also told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer and allowed me to speak to a lawyer via phone. The lawyer told me I knew everything there was to know. I did not say much because I was afraid the phone conversation was recorded. I also decided not to remain silent during the interrogation because the interrogator might conclude I was guilty and I did not know how to defend myself.
Then the interrogator told me he knew me very well and urged me to be straightforward with him and not to play games. I told him I was innocent and that there was no reason for me to be in his office. He accused me of lying and called me a “bastard” and accused me of throwing pipe bombs at soldiers on Route 60. He named a person from my village and accused me of collaborating with him.
Then he asked me about my friend’s car and I told him I used it to distribute chickens to shops in the village. Then he told me he promised to send me home if I confessed. He also told me he would issue my father a permit to work in Israel if I confessed. Then he told me to stand up and he blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back. Then he told me he had all the time in the world and was going to wait for me to confess. I told him I had nothing to confess to. About 20 minutes later I told him I was tired and had pain in my leg.
Then the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign something I did not understand. Then he showed me another document written in Hebrew and Arabic which said I was informed of my rights and I signed that document.
Then I was taken to a cell where I was strip searched and I was asked to crouch up and down while naked.
I spent two nights at Etzion and I found it very hard. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again before being taken to Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. I was denied release on bail and the hearing was adjourned. After court I was taken back to prison.
The following day I was taken for another interrogation at the police station in Kiryat Arba settlement. The interrogator informed me of my rights and allowed me to speak to a lawyer. The lawyer told me if I remained silent and did not confess there was a chance I might be sent home.
Then the interrogator started to question me and he asked me the same questions as the first interrogator. I denied the accusation and repeated my answers. He questioned me for about an hour and then showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign. Then I was taken back to Ofer prison.
I had three military court hearings. My lawyer threatened to resign because the prosecutor did not have any evidence to back the accusations. During this time I was taken for another interrogation at Bitar police station. The interrogator informed me of my rights and then asked me the same questions again. I continued to deny the accusation.
Then I had another hearing and the military judge decide to release me on bail. My parents had to pay NIS 2,500 and I was released on 16 September 2019. I went home with my father. We arrived home at around 1:00 a.m. I had another hearing on 28 October and I have another one on 27 November 2019.