|Date:||18 March 2018|
|Location:||Al Mughayyir, West Bank|
On 18 March 2018, a 17-year-old youth from Al Mughayyir is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. after the front door to his home was blown open. He reports being interrogated on two occasions.
I was asleep when I woke up suddenly and saw an Israeli soldier over my head. It was around 2:00 a.m. My brother, who was in the bed next to me, thought it was my father waking me up too early and I heard him ask “why are you waking him up at this hour?” I then realised there were around seven soldiers in our bedroom.
The soldier, who was standing over my head, beat me with the back of his gun and asked me for my identity card.
Then my parents entered the bedroom and started to shout at the soldiers for terrifying us and for entering the house without knocking at the door. My mother later told me she had heard a loud explosion which shook the house and woke her up. It turned out that the soldiers blew off our front door and did not bother to knock or wait for us to open.
The commander told my father they wanted to arrest me. My father objected and asked to see an arrest warrant. The commander went outside to a waiting jeep and came back with a piece of paper with scribbles in Hebrew and showed it to my father. The commander did not give my father a copy.
My father was so shocked that he passed out. His face became pale and he fell backwards and my mother caught him at the last moment. Then one of the soldiers helped my father lay down on the floor and he held his legs up while my mother wiped his face with a wet towel until he regained consciousness. I was very worried about my father and did not want to leave but the soldiers took me outside.
Once outside I was blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back with 2 plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were very tight and painful and left marks on my wrists for a long time.
Then the soldiers walked me towards a jeep and took put me in the back and made me sit on the metal floor. Inside the jeep soldiers beat me on the head, legs and arms. They also swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”. I was scared.
The jeep drove to a nearby military base where I was put in a shipping container with 3 other boys. The soldiers made me sit on the floor and a soldier kicked me when he felt I was falling asleep. I could not sleep at all. I asked to use the toilet but the soldiers refused. I was left there until around 10:00 a.m. During this time I was examined by a doctor who removed the blindfold and then put it back when he was done.
At around 10:00 a.m. I was taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement where I was left on a chair in a room for about 5 hours. I was not given any food or drink and was not allowed to use the toilet. At around 3:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator wore a police uniform. He had a camera and a voice recorder in the room. He removed the blindfold and the ties and replaced them with metal handcuffs. He asked me for my name and told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. He wanted to call a lawyer for me but I told him I wanted to speak to my father instead to check on him. He called my father and told me he was all right but I did not speak to my father myself.
Then the interrogator showed me a photo of a boy holding a sling shot and accused me of being the boy in the photo. I denied that the boy was me. Then he showed me a pair of trousers which the soldiers had taken from my bedroom and told me they were the same as the ones in the photo. I told him there was nothing special about my trousers and there were dozens of trousers that looked the same.
Then he showed me photos of boys during clashes with soldiers and wanted me to give their names but I refused to give any names. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and in the end he showed me documents written in Hebrew and asked me to sign but I refused. When I asked him what was written in the documents he told me they said he had interrogated me. Still I refused to sign and then he signed the documents himself.
After the interrogation I was photographed and fingerprinted and then transferred to Ofer prison where I was searched with my clothes on. After the search I was taken to Section 13.
On 20 March 2018, I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not there because they were not informed and the hearing was adjourned. I was taken back to prison after the hearing. My lawyer told me the military court refused to release me on bail.
About a month later I was taken for another interrogation by an intelligence officer. The officer did not inform me of my rights and told me 5 boys from my village had confessed against me and that he did not need my confession anymore. Then he wanted to know where I was on the day when my cousin was shot dead by soldiers in the village. There was a camera and a voice recorder in the room. I was questioned for about an hour and then I was taken back to prison.
I had about 7 military court hearings. At the last hearing I accepted a plea bargain where I confessed to throwing stones during clashes with soldiers near our village and I was sentenced to 6 months in prison and fined 3,000 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence of 1 year valid for 5 years. I accepted the plea bargain because my prison sentence was cut down by 2 months.
I spent my prison sentence at Ofer where I played table tennis most of the time. I did not attend classes because I dropped out of school when I was in 10thgrade. I was released from Ofer on 27 August 2018 and I went home with my father and uncles and brothers.
I found it hard in prison because of the strict rules; we had to sleep at a certain time and eat at a certain time. I also did not like the food at all.