|Date:||19 October 2019|
|Location:||Al' Arrub, West Bank|
On 19 October 2019, a 13-year-old minor from Al’ Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m. He reports speaking to a lawyer via phone prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence.
My sister came to my room and told me Israeli soldiers were in our home. It was at around 4:00 a.m. She told me they had entered the apartment building from the roof and smashed the glass to the front door before my father was able to open it for them. About 25 soldiers were in our house.
The soldiers gathered us in the living room and made us sit down. They checked my father’s identity card and then told him I was under arrest.
The commander then asked me to show him my bedroom. He followed me there and asked where my wardrobe was. Then he asked me to take out all the shirts, one by one. My sister came into the room but the commander shouted at her and pushed her out. Then he took one of the shirts and told me to get dressed. Then he took a picture of me and took me outside. On the way a soldier painfully pinched me in the back.
Then they tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was very painful. It left marks on my wrists for a long time. I was also blindfolded before being taken to a military vehicle and made to sit on the metal floor. I could not find my way easily because I was blindfolded and a soldier got impatient with me and hit me on my head. It was an unexpected shock.
I waited a long time inside the vehicle and the soldiers left and then came back. A female soldier told me to sit on the seat but another soldier grabbed and pushed me back to the floor.
Then I was taken to the military watchtower at the entrance to the refugee camp where I waited for a while. Then I was taken to the checkpoint near Beit Jala. There I was examined by a doctor who took my blood pressure and asked me if I had any illnesses. He removed the tie and the blindfold during the examination only and then replaced them.
Then I was taken to a place I did not recognise. I pulled down the blindfold to try to figure out where I was but a soldier put it back on and tightened it. Then someone asked whether I was given any food but before they brought the food I was taken in the military vehicle to the police station in Etzion settlement. I was left out in the cold weather for about two hours and then I was taken inside for interrogation.
The interrogator introduced himself and told me his name was Moshe. He removed the tie and the blindfold and told me to sit down. Another person came into the room and told me if I apologised and told him the names of the boys seen in a photograph he would send me home. Then the interrogator phoned a lawyer. The lawyer asked me for my name and told me not to confess. He also told me I was going to be sent home shortly. The conversation lasted for less than a minute before the interrogator turned off the speaker phone.
Then, without informing me of my right to remain silence, the interrogator accused me of throwing stones and showed me a photograph of clashes and told me I was taking part. He thumped the table and raised his voice at me when I denied I was there. Then he offered me a cigarette and I told him I did not smoke.
Then he told me I had to confess to save my father the trouble of coming to the police station. Then he snapped his fingers on my nose and caused me pain. He repeated this many times. Then he slapped me on my head and told me I had to confess but I did not.
Then he asked me to sign documents written in Hebrew but I refused to sign and told him I needed a translation. He yelled at me and insisted I had to sign the Hebrew documents but I refused. Then another person came into the room and kicked and slapped me and told me I had to sign but I did not. Then the interrogator blindfolded me and took me into another room to see another interrogator.
The second interrogator removed the blindfold and asked me if I had spoken to a lawyer. I told him I had. Then he asked me whether I was beaten and I told him I was beaten badly. Then he showed me some photographs of clashes with soldiers and accused me of taking part. I denied the accusation. He started to question me without informing me of my right to silence.
Then he pointed to a boy in the photograph and told me it was me. He told me to confess to him before someone else comes in to beat me up. I told him I was not going to confess to something I did not do. This interrogator did not ask me to sign any documents. Then he asked me for my father’s number and told me he was going to call him to come and take me home. He also told me my father had to pay NIS 1,000 and that I was not allowed to go anywhere.
Shortly afterwards my father came with my aunt and I went home with them. We arrived home at around 6:00 p.m.
The following day my father called me and told me the Area Commander was on his phone and wanted to speak to me. I took the phone and the Commander, who told me his name was Karam, asked me where I was and told me I was not allowed to leave the house. He started to swear and then said if I throw stones ever again he was going to send me a vicious group of soldiers to arrest me. Then he asked to speak to my father and I could hear him swearing.
A day later the police called my father and told I had a military court hearing on 9 June 2020. My father told the police he had paid a fine and that the file was closed but the policeman told him I had to show up in court.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.