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Testimony: F.A.S.H.


Name: F.A.S.H.
Age: 14
Date: 14 May 2017
Location: Al Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 14 May 2017, the mother of a 14-year-old boy from Al Arrub receives a telephone summons to take her son to Etzion settlement for interrogation. The family complies. The boy reports experiencing multiple interrogations without being informed of his rights. 

About 2 months before I was arrested Israeli soldiers came to our house at around 2:00 a.m. looking for me and my brother but we were not home. My mother told the commander to give her a summons and she would bring us to the police station. The commander told her there was no need for a summons because he knew how to get us when he wanted us.
On 14 May 2017, my mother received a phone call at around 8:30 a.m. telling her to bring me and my older brother to the police station in Etzion settlement for questioning. We all went to the police station as requested. My older brother was questioned for about 2 hours and then he was released. My mother had a sense of relief thinking I would be questioned and released within 2 hours too, but she was wrong.
I was taken into the interrogation room at around 12:00 p.m. As soon as I entered the interrogator wished me well because I had fractured my arm playing football the day before and I was in plaster. Then he told me he wanted to ask me a couple of questions and then he would send me home. He told me he was a straightforward man and had a dislike for people who told lies.
The interrogator then he wanted to know when I threw stones. I told him I never threw stones. Then he mentioned some names and asked me whether I knew those people and I told him I did not.
Then he accused me of throwing Molotov cocktails after the funeral of a person who was shot dead by soldiers. I denied the accusation and told him I had no idea how to make Molotov cocktails and that I was not involved in any resistance. When he heard my response he accused me of lying and started to count my “lies” saying “one”.
Then he accused me of throwing a paint bottle at a military watchtower. When I denied this accusation he told me this was my second lie and counted “two”. Then he accused me of throwing stones. Again I denied the accusation and I told him I was only interested in my school work. He accused me of continuing to lie. Then he showed me some photographs and wanted me to identify the people in the photographs. I told him I did not know anyone.
Then he lost his temper and started to raise his voice and to swear at me. He called me a “son of a whore” and told me I had to confess. I told him I had nothing to confess. He took out metal handcuffs and a blindfold and threatened to use them if I did not confess. Then he banged the table and shouted at me saying I had to confess.
Half way through the interrogation he showed me a document and asked me whether I could read. The document was in both Hebrew and Arabic and said I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. He asked me to sign it and I did. Also half way through the interrogation he called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him on the phone. The lawyer asked me whether the interrogator had beaten me and told me not to confess.
Then another interrogator walked in. He looked scary. He did not inform me of my rights and told me I had to confess. I told him I had nothing to confess. Then he asked me whether I threw stones and I said I did not. Then the first interrogator held my broken arm and twisted it and told me there were confessions against me by other boys and named three boys. I was in severe pain.
Then the first interrogator said that in December 2016 I threw stones at soldiers during a funeral. I denied the accusation. Then he told me in January 2017 I threw stones with some friends on Route 60 at a passing settler car.  Then he told me on another date in January a settler bus was stoned and I was there and was heard telling my friend who was arrested not to confess. I denied all the accusations.
Then a third interrogator entered the room and showed me some photographs of clashes without informing me of my rights. The first interrogator then twisted my broken arm again and punched me in the face. I was in such pain that I told him I threw stones near the mosque. He asked me who I threw stones with and I told him I did it by myself. He asked me whether I was masked and I told him I was not. He typed my confession.
After my confession was typed the interrogator phoned the lawyer again and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess and I told him I had already confessed. The interrogation lasted for about 3 hours. I was not given any documents to sign at he end.
After the interrogation I was taken to another room where a fourth interrogator told me to repeat what I had told the other interrogators. He did not inform me of my rights but he recorded what I told him. Then the first interrogator walked in and started to make fun of me. He put his glasses on my face and asked me whether I wanted a piece of cake or coffee.
The interrogator then told me I had a military court hearing in two days and that they were going to take me to Ofer prison. A soldier blindfolded me and took me to a room where I was examined by a doctor. The doctor asked me why I throw stones and told me I was going to prison. Female soldiers who were around started to swear at me saying “fuck everyone in Al Arrub” and “fuck all Arabs”.
Then I was taken to a room where the air conditioner was freezing cold. I was left there for about 2 hours. I sat on a chair and I asked for some water. I tried to fall asleep but a soldier woke me up each time I fell asleep; he kicked me and told me to wake up.
At around 4:00 p.m. I was taken to a prison cell in Etzion but the guards refused to admit me. I was left in an outdoor area until around 11:00 p.m. and I could not sleep at all. Then I was taken in a vehicle to Ofer prison.
At Ofer I was strip searched and examined again by a doctor who removed the plaster. Afterwards I was taken to Section 13.
Two days later I was taken to Ofer military court. My mother and brother were in court and the hearing was adjourned. I had around 10 military court hearings and on the last one, which was on 30 October 2017, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 7 months in prison and fined 3,000 shekels. I was also given a 12-month sentence suspended for 5 years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me if I did not accept it I would spend 9 months in prison.
I spent my entire prison sentence at Ofer prison. My mother visited me 9 times. I was released on 22 November 2017. My family decorated the house with Palestinian flags and my friends had a big party for me. They drove me around the camp, hooting and flashing lights. I was very happy to be home.