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Home » Children »

Testimony: R.N.H.A.

 

Name: R.N.H.A.
Age: 14
Date of incident: 20 September 2016
Location: Dheisheh, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/Molotovs/incitement
 
On 20 September 2016 a 14-year-old boy from the Dheisheh refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He is accused of throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and incitement on Facebook.
 
At around 2:00 a.m. Israeli soldiers banged at our front door. I was still awake as I knew there were soldiers in the camp making arrests. They did not wait for us to open the door and broke it open. The then stormed into the ground floor where my grandmother lives.
 
The soldiers searched my grandmother's apartment and then came upstairs where we live. The commander asked for me and when I identified myself he told me they had come to arrest me. He gave my father a document with details about me arrest and wanted my father to sign it but he refused. The commander did not give us a reason for my arrest and did not tell us where they were taking me.
 
The soldiers then took me outside the house. I was on crutches as I was still recovering from a gunshot wound I sustained a few days earlier. They led me for about 10 minutes and then a soldier carried me to where a military jeep was waiting. I was put into the back of the jeep where they blindfolded me. They did not tie my hands. They made me sit on the floor and the jeep drove for about 15 minutes to a nearby military base.
 
On arrival at the military base I was taken out of the jeep and I was shackled and handcuffed. The chains were long enough to allow me to use the crutches. Then I was pushed to the ground and I fell on my back on a bit of concrete and I was in severe pain. I remained on the ground for about four hours.
 
After four hours I was taken back to a jeep where they made me sit on the floor again. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was immediately taken for a medical examination. The doctor removed the blindfold and examined me. I told him about the gunshot wound in my leg. Then I was blindfolded again and taken to a shipping container where I sat on the floor. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t because I was in pain.
 
At around 10:00 a.m. I was taken to a police car where I sat on a seat. The car drove for about an hour to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem where I was examined while handcuffed but the blindfold was removed. I remained at the hospital until around 7:00 p.m. and then I was taken back to Etzion where I waited in a courtyard on the ground. I was blindfolded again.
 
At some point a soldier and an interrogator removed the blindfold and asked me why I throw stones at soldiers. I told them I didn’t. Then I was taken to a cell where the handcuffs and the blindfold were removed and I spent the night there. In the morning I was given some food.
 
At around 9:00 a.m. I was handcuffed again and taken to the back of a police car which drove for about 90 minutes to Ofer prison.
 
At Ofer I was strip searched and taken to the remand court where my detention was extended. My parents did not attend the hearing because they were not informed but a lawyer was there to represent me. The hearing was adjourned. Then I was taken to Section 13 in Ofer prison.
 
The following day, at around 9:00 a.m., I was handcuffed to the front and shackled and taken to a police car. The car drove for about 90 minutes to the police station in Kiryat Arba settlement. I was taken to a room where I waited for about two hours before I was taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator asked me whether I knew what I was accused of. I told him I didn’t. I told him I won’t say a word until I am allowed to speak to a lawyer and to my father. He said “fine” and sent me back to the room where I remained for about 90 minutes. Then I was taken back to the interrogation room where I found my father and my aunt in the room. It turned out that the interrogator had called them and asked them to come to the police station. I was allowed to speak to my father and aunt but then they were taken out of the room and were not allowed to attend the interrogation.
 
Then the interrogator called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. Then the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent and not say anything. Then he accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktail at soldiers and of incitement on Facebook. I denied the accusations. The interrogator recorded the session on a tape recorder. The interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes and the interrogator did not show me any documents. Then another interrogator took over.
 
The second interrogator was aggressive. He slapped me on the face and told me I had to confess. I told him I was going to observe my right to silence. He told me it wasn’t in my interest to remain silent as remaining silent could lead to a long prison sentence.   The interrogation lasted for another hour and I wasn’t shown any documents. Then I was taken back to Ofer.
 
I arrived back at Ofer at around 1:00 p.m. I was immediately taken to the military court which my lawyer and my parents attended and I was allowed to speak to them. The hearing was adjourned again.
 
The following day I was taken for another round of interrogation at Kiryat Arba. The interrogator repeated the same accusations and the whole time asked me about other boys from the camp. He showed me pictures and wanted me to identify the boys in the pictures and to confess against them. I didn’t confess and didn’t give any information and the interrogator did not print out any documents. Then I was taken back to Ofer.
 
The following day I was taken for yet another round of interrogation. The interrogator accused me of the same accusations and I insisted on remaining silent. The interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. Then he showed me a document in Arabic saying I was informed of my right to consult with a lawyer and the right to remain silent. He asked me to sign this document and I did.
 
Then he took my fingerprints and my photograph and took me to the military court where my detention was extended. The lawyer objected to this decision and an appeal session was held in my absence. My lawyer requested that I be released for medical reasons.
 
I had another military court hearing which my parents attended and the court decided to release me on bail and ordered that I remain under house arrest for three months. They also made my parents pay 7,500 shekels bail pending the next hearing. They told my father he had to show up at Etzion police station whenever they summoned him.
 
I was released on 2 October 2016 at around 6:00 p.m. I went home with my parents. An intelligence officer kept calling my father to make sure I was held under house arrest. The three-month house arrest period expired and I haven’t been informed of any further hearings.