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Testimony: M.M.S.A.


Name: M.M.S.A.
Age: 16
Date: 2 August 2017
Location: Tuqu', West Bank
Accusation: Intention to stab a soldier

On 2 August 2017 an Israeli intelligence officer summonses a 16-year-old youth from Tuqu' to an interrogation in Etzion settlement the next day. That night the youth is arrested by soldiers at 2:30 a.m. before he can respond to the summons. 

The day before my arrest an Israeli intelligence officer phoned my father around noon and asked him to bring me over to the Bethlehem checkpoint the following day for questioning. My father and I were planning to go the following day but the soldiers came to our house that night and arrested me.
At around 2:30 a.m. the day after the intelligence office phoned I woke up to the sound of commotion outside our house. Soon I heard banging at our front door and my father answered. Around 10 Israeli soldiers entered our home and asked to see my identity card. Then they told me I was under arrest. They did not give my father any written documents and did not tell him why they were arresting me.
Once I was dressed the soldiers took me outside the house where they pulled my T-shirt over my head so I could not see. I was also handcuffed with my hands in front. The metal handcuffs were tight and painful.
I was then led on foot towards the centre of the village where I was put in the back of a jeep and sat on a seat. The jeep drove towards the military watchtower at the entrance to the village where I was examined by a doctor. Then they made me sit on the ground for about an hour before putting me back in the jeep.
The jeep drove to a military base near Beit Sahour where I was taken to a room and I sat on a chair until around 9:00 a.m. At around 9:00 a.m. I was put in the back of a jeep and taken to a police station - I don't know which one. On arrival at the police station I was taken for interrogation.
There were four intelligence officers in the interrogation room. Before they started to question me one of them told he was going to allow me to speak to a lawyer and he was about to call a lawyer but he never did. Another one told me it was in my interest to speak frankly and to tell the truth. When I asked him what truth he was talking about he told me they had information I intended to stab a soldier at the military base at the entrance to the village following a row with my brother. I told him this was not true and I never made any statements about intending to stab a soldier. Then he told me if I did not confess he was going to lock me up in solitary confinement where he would also beat me.
I was interrogated for about 10 minutes and the whole time they were trying to understand the reason for the row between me and my brother. They also asked me about boys who throw stones and wanted me to give names and I gave names of some boys I knew were involved in throwing stones at soldiers.
After 10 minutes I was taken to see a policeman who asked me the same questions and I gave the same answers. Then he printed out my statement in Hebrew and told me it was identical to what I had told him and asked me to sign it and I did.
Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was released at around 4:00 p.m. However, as I was leaving the settlement the soldiers at the entrance stopped me and checked my identity card and told me I was wanted for questioning. I told them I had already been questioned but they did not believe me.
The soldiers blindfolded me and tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie and made me sit on the ground. Then a commander spoke to me and when he realised what had happened he told the soldiers to release me. I went home by myself at around 5:00 p.m.