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Testimony: B.S.S.D.


Name: B.S.S.D.
Age: 17
Date: 1 February 2017
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Weapon possession

On 1 February 2017, a 17-year-old youth from Beit Fajjar is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. and accused of possession a pipe bomb. He is only informed of his legal rights halfway through his interrogation.

I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. to the sound of banging at our front door. My father answered the door and Israeli soldiers entered our home and immediately asked for me. They told my father they had come to arrest me.
The soldiers took me into the living room and the commander started to question me about weapons which he claimed he had information about. I told him I did not have any weapons. My father tried to enter the room to be with me but the commander did not allow him in.
The commander told me they had arrested some boys who told him I had a pipe bomb and that I had better hand it over. When I told him again I did not have any weapons he shouted at me and hit me on my head with a torch he was holding and said he was sure I was going to confess during the interrogation.
The soldiers then handcuffed me to the back and took me to my bedroom and allowed me to put on some clothes. They had to help me because I was handcuffed. Then they took me outside where they blindfolded me and put me in the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor.
The jeep drove for about five minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement. At Etzion I was taken to a room where I sat on the floor until around 7:00 a.m. when a doctor examined me. Soldiers then took me to a courtyard where I sat on the ground for about two hours before I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold but he later put it back on. He accused me of possessing weapons and of throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail. When I denied the accusations he shouted at me and verbally abused me and said I was a "son of a whore". Another interrogator joined him and they both kept accusing me of different things including shooting, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and burning tires.  I felt they wanted me to confess to anything.
Then the interrogator called my father and told him I was at Etzion and that he needed to appoint me a lawyer. He also told him I had a court hearing. Half way through the interrogation the interrogator gave me a document which said I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer.
I was then left with the first interrogator who removed the blindfold and took a pistol he had on his waist, then took the bullet out and placed the pistol on the table in front of him. Then he picked it up, raised it up in the air and put it down again making loud noises in a threatening way.
At one point a third interrogator entered the room. He was very tall and told me I had better confess and that he wanted to help me. He told me if I confessed I would get an easy sentence. At this point I confessed to possessing a pipe bomb.
The interrogator then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it and I did. Then they took my photograph and fingerprints and took me to a courtyard where I sat on the ground from around 10:00 a.m. until around noon.
At around noon I was strip searched and taken into a cell where I was given some food. At around 10:00 p.m. I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again and taken to Section 13.
The following day I had a hearing in the military court which my parents and my lawyer attended and I was allowed to speak to them. I had about 12 hearings and in the end I was sentenced to four months in prison, fined 2,000 shekels and given a 12-month suspended sentence for five years.
I spent my prison sentence at Ofer and my parents visited me and I studied. I was released from Ofer on 15 May 2017.