|Date:||31 July 2021|
|Location:||Tubas, West Bank|
On 31 July 2021, a 16-year-old minor from Tubas was arrested by Israeli soldiers at a military checkpoint at 4:00 p.m. He reports being interrogated without first consulting with a lawyer and asked to sign documents written in Hebrew.
I was arrested at Tayaseer military checkpoint at around 4:00 p.m. There was a protest and clashes erupted between young boys and Israeli soldiers. Two military jeeps surrounded me from the back and front and I could not escape. A soldier wanted to tie my hands. When I resisted the soldiers started to beat and kick me all over my body. I was in pain.
Then they managed to tie my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful. It cut into my wrists and I felt my wrists were going to be torn apart. The tie left marks on my wrists for a long time. Then they blindfolded me and walked me towards the checkpoint. Along the way the soldiers swore at me and called me "a son of a whore".
I was left by the checkpoint until around 8:00 p.m. The soldiers who were at the checkpoint told me they were going to rape me once I was in prison and I was terrified. They also took a picture of me.
Then, at around 8:00 p.m., I was taken in a bus to the police station in Binyamin settlement. I was taken to a room and I slept on the floor. The soldiers removed the blindfold but kept me tied. I was left there without food or drink until around noon the following day. Then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the tie. He was in civilian clothes. The interrogator did not phone a lawyer for me and started to question me immediately. He told me I had the right to remain silent but then he said if I gave him what he wanted he would release me quickly. He then said it was my choice whether I remained silent or not but he made it clear it was not in my interest to remain silent because answering his questions would get me out of prison.
He asked me where I was when I was arrested and who was with me. He also asked me whether someone had sent me to throw stones at the checkpoint. Then he asked me about the stone he claimed I had thrown at the soldiers. He wanted to know the distance. At first, I denied having thrown stones but later felt I could no longer deny it.
The interrogator was calm but the whole time he kept telling me if I gave him what he wanted he would send me home, otherwise he was going to keep me in prison. He questioned me for about 30 minutes. At the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. When I asked him to translate it for me he said there was no need for a translation. I signed without understanding.
Then I was given a quick medical examination. Then, in the evening I was taken in a troop carrier to the police station in Etzion settlement. At Etzion I was left outside on the ground for about an hour. Then I was strip searched before being taken to a cell together with another boy. I was left there for eight days.
My first military court hearing was on the fourth day following my arrest. It was conducted on zoom. My parents did not attend because they were not informed. Eight days later I was transferred to Ofer prison. I was strip searched and then I was taken to the quarantine section where I spent 14 days. I was quarantined with 10 other boys.
During this time, I had three more military court hearings. Then I was transferred to section 13. I had four more court hearings. At the last one, which was on 20 August 2021, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to two months in prison and fined NIS 1,000. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me the prosecutor was asking for 15 months in prison.
In September I was transferred to Megiddo prison inside Israel. I did not have any family visits. In prison I played table tennis and chatted to the other prisoners to pass the time. I was released on 20 September 2021 at Salem checkpoint. My parents were told to wait by Al Jalama. I called my father from a lawyer’s telephone and told him where I was. I went home with my parents, my uncle and my cousins, we arrived home at around 4:00 p.m.