|Date:||3 March 2019|
|Location:||Tuqu', West Bank|
On 3 March 2019, a 17-year-old minor from Tuqu’ was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports being interrogated without first consulting with a lawyer or being informed of his right to silence.
A friend phoned me at around 4:00 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers were in our town. Shortly afterwards there was a knock at our front door. My father opened the door and three soldiers entered our home. More soldiers waited outside.
The soldiers asked whether I lived in the house and then gathered us all in the living room. One of the soldiers asked me for my name and then took my identity card. He then took a photograph of me and told me I was under arrest. Then he gave my father a document filled out on Hebrew with information about my arrest but my father did not understand the Hebrew. Meanwhile, another soldier was taking photos of all the rooms in our house but did not tell us why.
About 30 minutes later they took me outside where they tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not painful. They also blindfolded me. I was then taken to the back of a military jeep and made me sit on the metal floor.
I was taken to a nearby military base where I was left in a room until around 4:00 p.m. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement for interrogation.
The interrogator removed my blindfold but kept me tied. He wore civilian clothes and told me my file was complete implying he did not even need me to confess. He accused me of throwing stones at soldiers on 11 August 2018 and told me he had photographic evidence of the incident. He questioned me for about 15 minutes without informing me of any rights.
Half-way through the interrogation the interrogator phoned a lawyer and handed me the telephone. The person on the line told me not to confess or speak and to be strong. I told him I did not believe he was a lawyer and I immediately hung up on him.
The interrogator did not show me any documents to sign but he took my photograph and fingerprints. Then I was searched in my boxer shorts before being taken into a cell. About 30 minutes later I was taken to Ofer prison. At Ofer I was searched in my clothes before being taken to section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. I was denied bail and the hearing was adjourned.
I had about six military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 10 months in prison: 2 months for this offence and 8 months of a suspended sentence I had from a previous arrest. I was also fined NIS 3,000 shekels and served with an additional suspended sentence of 15 months valid for a year. My lawyer advised me to accept the plea bargain and told me I would get a longer sentence if I did not accept it.
I spent part of my sentence at Ofer and part at Remon prison inside Israel. I was released on 12 December 2019 at Al-Thahriyeh checkpoint and I went home with my father.
In prison I attended classes and played table tennis and cards. My mother visited me five times. I don’t want to go back to prison ever again; I want to become a plumber and I want to focus on that.