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Testimony: A.A.I.S.


Name:  A.A.I.S.
Age:  16
Date:  13 January 2017
Location:  Al Jalazun, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 13 January 2017, a 16-year-old youth from Al Jalazun refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 p.m. during clashes. He reports being denied access to a lawyer prior to interrogation because he is a "trouble maker". 

I was with a group of friends on the main street in the camp. It was around 2:00 p.m. At the time here were clashes with Israeli soldiers following Friday prayers. When a group of soldiers suddenly appeared we all started to run but we were surprised by a military jeep ahead.
The soldiers fired in our direction and the jeep ran me over and hurt my leg. I fell to the ground and a soldier fired a rubber bullet at my leg. The soldiers also started to beat me with the back of their guns and kick me. I passed out and when I regained consciousness I felt my face was swollen and blood was coming out of a cut near my eye.
The soldiers then tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. I was also blindfolded. I was then taken to a military jeep and made to sit on the metal floor in the back. Once inside the jeep soldiers kicked me hard in the back and banged my head against the metal and I passed out again.
Shortly afterwards we arrived at Beit El settlement where I was left on the ground for about an hour in the cold weather. During this time soldiers tied my legs together with my shoe laces. After about an hour the soldiers threw me i the back of a jeep and drove me to the police station in Binyamin settlement.
At Benyamin I was examined by a doctor who checked my leg and my eye and he treated me after he had removed the blindfold. Then I waited on a seat where soldiers brought me some water and a cake. At around 3:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the tie and told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer but because I was a trouble maker in the camp he told me he was going to deny me this right. I don’t remember him saying anything about my right to remain silent. Then he started to question me about the reasons for throwing stones and what the purpose or benefit was. He wanted to know how many times I took part in clashes and who participated with me. He also wanted to know who gave me orders to participate in clashes. When I told him I did not throw stones at soldiers he started to shout at me and I was in such distress that I passed out. I was no longer aware of what was going on around me. I was in pain and I was scared and I could not take it anymore.
When I regained consciousness the interrogator told me I had confessed to throwing stones at soldiers. Then the interrogator printed out a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it and I did without understanding what it said. Then they took my photograph and fingerprints. I was then handcuffed and taken back to a jeep which drove to Ofer prison. I arrived at Ofer at around 5:00 a.m. At Ofer I was searched in my underwear and taken into Section 13.
During my time at Ofer prison I had about 15 military court appearances. My parents did not attend the first hearing because they had not been informed about it. Later I was transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel, and I had an additional seven military court hearings.
The trip from Megiddo prison (in Israel) to Ofer military court (in Palestinian territory) was long and exhausting. I spent about three months at Megiddo.
At my last military court hearing, which was on 26 July 2017, I was sentenced to eight months in prison and fined 2,000 shekels. I also received a one year suspended sentence suspended for five years.
I was released from Ofer prison on 22 August 2017 and I went home with my parents. In prison I studied Arabic and mathematics.