|Date:||12 February 2020|
|Location:||Kafr Ein, West Bank|
On 12 February 2020, a 17-year-old minor from Kafr Ein was arrested by Israeli soldiers at a flying checkpoint at 1:00 p.m. He reports not being informed of his right to silence or consulting with a lawyer prior to every interrogation.
About four days before I was arrested, Israeli soldiers raided my uncle’s house at around 3:00 a.m. They broke open his front door with a device that opens locked doors quietly. When they realised they had made a mistake they went to another family’s home whose son has a similar name to mine. They took the boy into the back of a jeep and when they realised they had the wrong boy they released him. In the mean time I received calls from family and friends telling me soldiers were looking for me. The soldiers retreated from the village and did not come to our house that night.
On the day I was arrested soldiers put up a flying checkpoint at the entrance to the nearby village of An Nabi Saleh. I was in a taxi that was stopped by soldiers at the checkpoint at around 1:00 p.m. The soldiers checked our identity cards and when they saw mine they told me to step out because I was under arrest.
I got out of the taxi as requested and then five soldiers approached me and asked me for my mobile phone which they away. Then they started to push and yell at me. Then one of the soldiers handcuffed my hands to the front with metal hand cuffs and tightened them so hard that my wrists bled. Soon a police car arrived at the scene and I was put in the car where I sat on a seat. Inside the car a soldier blindfolded me. I was then taken to the police station in Modiin, inside Israel.
At Modiin I was taken to a small cell, around 2 x 2 meters. There were no windows in the cell. They removed the blindfold, took my jacket and my boots and left me in the cell for about 7 hours. They did not bring me any food or drink. At around 10:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator did not remove the handcuffs and told me if I lied to him he was going to “beat me up”. Then he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to take it easy and not confess. The conversation lasted for less than a minute and the interrogator was listening because the conversation was on speaker phone. The interrogator then cut the line off. Then he told me I had the right to remain silent. Then he told me if I remained silent he was going to interrogate me until the morning until I spoke. Then he called my mother and told her where I was but did not allow me to speak to her when I asked.
Then he accused me of incitement and of supporting a terrorist organisation. I denied the accusation. Then he showed me a screen shot of photographs on my Facebook page. He was aggressive and threatened to lock me up in prison for years if I did not confess. I told him my Facebook was hacked and I had nothing to do with what was posted on it.
He questioned me for about two hours and a soldier walked into the interrogation room a couple of times and yelled at me telling me to confess. I did not confess. At the end of the interrogation the interrogator showed me documents written in Hebrew and asked me to sign them. He translated them for me and I signed.
Then I was taken back to the cell for about an hour and then driven to Ofer prison. At Ofer I was strip searched before being taken to section 13.
The following day I had a military court hearing which my parents did not attend because they were not informed. The hearing was adjourned.
The following day I was taken back to Modiin police station for another interrogation. I was left in the small cell without windows from the morning until around 7:00 p.m. when I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer but he did not call a lawyer for me. Then he showed me a photograph of a person and wanted me to identify him. I told him I had no idea who that person was. Then he told me it was me and I told him it was not. He questioned me for about two hours and I denied all the accusations and did not give him any names. He was calm most of the time and did not show me any documents to sign. Then I was taken back to Ofer.
A few days later I was taken for another interrogation. This time the interrogator did not inform me of my rights. He asked me if I wanted to confess to incitement and when I told him I did not want to confess he threatened to lock me up in prison for two years. When I told him I did not care he lost his temper and yelled at me telling me to confess. He questioned me for about an hour and showed me a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I signed without understanding what it said because I was sick and tired of the whole process and wanted to get done with it.
I had about 10 military court hearings which were conducted over a video link because of the Corona Virus. At the last hearing, which was on 18 August 2020, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 10 months in prison, fined NIS 1,000 and given a suspended sentence of three years in prison valid for five years. I accepted the plea bargain because 10 months in prison is much better than 18 months which the prosecutor had requested.
I spent my prison sentence at Ofer and I had only one family visit because of the Virus. My mother visited me two days before I was released. During the entire time the prison authorities allowed me to phone home twice. I spent my time in prison I cleaning the ward and I distributing meals.
I was given early release on 16 September 2020 and I went home with my father and brother and uncle who were waiting for me outside Ofer. I arrived home at around 7:00 p.m.