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Testimony: M.K.E.C.


Name: M.K.E.C.
Age: 17
Date: 14 February 2019
Location: An Nabi Saleh, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 14 February 2019, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Rima was arrested by Israeli soldiers in the neighbouring village of An Nabi Saleh at 9:00 p.m. He reports being informed of his right to silence but not consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation.

I was with my friend on the hill opposite the settlement of Halamish when we were ambushed by a group of Israeli soldiers. It was around 9:00 p.m. I tried to run away but the soldiers started to shoot and yell at us asking us to stop. I was terrified and I stopped immediately.

A soldier pushed me to the ground face down, tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was tight and painful and then blindfolded me. He then kicked me on my legs and slapped me and left me on the ground in the rain for about 30 minutes.

Then a vehicle arrived and I was taken to the nearby military base. I sat on a seat. At the base I was given a medical examination. The doctor removed the blindfold and asked me some questions about my health and then blindfolded me again.

About 30 minutes later I was taken to a police station near the settlement of Ni’ilin. At the police station I waited for about three hours before being taken for interrogation. During this time I was given some water and was allowed to use the toilet.

Before asking me any questions, the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent. She spoke to me via an interpreter. Then she accused me of throwing stones at a settler car and of causing damage to the car. She told me soldiers saw me and a settler woman also reported the incident to the police. I denied the accusation. The interrogator was calm but the interpreter was aggressive and shouted at me and told me to shut up when I denied the accusation.

About halfway through the interrogation the interrogator phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent. He also told me he had informed my parents and told them where I was. The conversation lasted for about a minute and the interrogator was in the room.

I was interrogated for about three hours. Most of the time the interrogator was typing on her computer. In the end she showed me a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it and I did although I did not understand what was written.

After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison. At Ofer I was searched in my underwear before being taken to section 13. I entered the section at around 10:00 a.m.

I was arrested on a Thursday and on Sunday I was taken to the military court. My father attended the hearing and I was denied bail.

I had about eight military court hearings. At the last hearing, which was on the 24 June 2019, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to eight months in prison, fined NIS 4,000 fine and given a suspended sentence of one year in prison valid for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me I would be facing three years in prison if I did not plead guilty.

I spent my prison sentence at Ofer where I studied for my final high school exams. My parents visited me four times. I was released on 22 September 2019 and went home with my father. I arrived home at around 7:30 p.m. When I arrived home my father told me how worried he was when I was first arrested because he could not locate me anywhere. He thought I had been shot dead because the villagers could hear shooting at the time of my arrest. It wasn’t until 3:30 a.m. that my father finally knew where I was.