Testimony - Fatima M.
|Date of incident:||19/22 May 2014|
|Location:||Deir Nidham, West Bank|
On 22 May 2014, Israeli soldiers enter the village of Deir Nidham, in the West Bank, at 2:30 a.m. and arrest a 13-year-old boy.
“I live in the village of Deir Nidham with my husband and six children. Our village is situated between the Israeli settlement of Halamish and a road used by the settlers and military. On 19 May 2014, at about 5:00 p.m., my brother-in-law came and told me that Israeli soldiers had detained two of my sons at the entrance to the village and wanted their ID cards. I gave their ID cards to my brother-in-law who then took them to the soldiers. Sometime later my brother-in-law returned and told me that the soldiers were not going to release my sons until my youngest son J., who is 13-years-old, went to the soldiers. I was shocked because J. is young and has never taken part in any demonstrations in the village. My brother-in-law insisted that we take J. to the soldiers because otherwise they would not release my other two sons who they were already holding.”
“We then took J. to the soldiers who were still waiting at the entrance to the village. They then made J. speak to an Israeli policeman on the phone. The commander then told me that we had to bring J. to the Israeli police station inside Binjamin settlement the next day and if we didn’t the soldiers would come back in the middle of the night and arrest him. The soldiers then released my other two sons at around 10:00 p.m. After consulting with my husband, who was traveling at the time, we advised my son not to go to the police station. We wanted him to focus on his school exams.”
“A few nights later, on 22 May, at around 2:30 a.m., I woke up terrified to the sound of loud banging at our front door. I was home alone with my children as my husband was still abroad. I jumped out of bed and went to the door to see who it was. I heard the voice of soldiers shouting and banging at the door. I turned the key to signal to them I was about to open the door and rushed back to the bedroom to put some clothes on but the soldiers broke open the front door and moved on to break the bedroom door. I was shaking from fear and confusion, I was totally terrified. Soldiers went into my children’s bedrooms and woke them up. The commander asked all of us to gather in the living room and asked me about my 13-year-old son J. I asked him what he wanted from J. and told him to leave him alone as he was in the middle of his school exams. The commander told me they were going to take him for questioning and would return him the following day. Of course they never did.”
“They dragged J. outside where they aggressively twisted his arms behind his back and tied them with a plastic tie. I lost my mind when I saw this and realized my son was being taken away while I watched helplessly. I went crazy. The soldiers did not have any documents and didn’t give us any details about where they were going to take J.. That night the soldiers also arrested another boy, M., who was also 13-years-old. Later that day, at around 2:00 p.m., J. called me to tell me that his father should go to the interrogation center. Then someone grabbed the phone from J. and told me that I would not see him for a long time.”
“My son and the other boy were released at 11:00 p.m., on 26 May 2014. He was released without charge and we didn’t have to pay any money. When he got home he told me how he was slapped and kicked and badly treated. He missed two of his school exams which he will have to take again. When he was released I could tell he wasn’t able to concentrate of his school work and was always on the alert, watching and listening to what was going on outside the house for fear that there might be soldiers around. I strongly believe soldiers sometimes target young children to teach them hard lessons. My son was released without charge but the experience was traumatizing, not only for him but for the entire family.”