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Testimony: M.H.

Name: M.H.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 2 October 2013
Location: Al Fawwar, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 2 October 2013, a 15-year-old boy from Al Fawwar refugee camp, is arrested by Israeli soldiers and accused of throwing stones.
“It was around 9:00 p.m. when I was going home with my cousin after work. There were clashes going on between residents of the camp and Israeli soldiers near the main road. A military jeep approached us and some soldiers got out. More soldiers came from the watchtower on the main road. They told us to stop. When we stopped the soldiers asked us to go with them to the military tower. They made us sit on the ground near the tower and they examined our hands and clothes to see if we had traces of dust from stone throwing. Then they brought a camera with pictures of young men throwing stones and checked to see if we were in those pictures. They didn’t find any pictures of us. We stayed there for about half-an-hour. We were not beaten and we were not blindfolded or hand-tied.”
“Then a white Toyota came and the commander who was in it talked to the soldiers. I understood he was telling them to take us somewhere else. Almost immediately a soldier grabbed me by the neck and took me to the jeep that was by the military tower. He asked me to put my hands behind my back and he tied me with one plastic tie. The tie was very painful but I was too scared to object so. They did not blindfold me. A soldier then pushed me into the back of the jeep and made me sit on a box, which I thought, had tear gas canisters in it. Three soldiers got in and the jeep drove away. About 15 minutes later the jeep arrived at a military camp but I don’t know which one. The soldiers pulled me out of the jeep inside a courtyard where there were lots of soldiers. Then they put me in a shipping container. The moment I got there they removed the hand-tie and made me sit on a seat for about five minutes.”
“Then I was taken to the interrogation room. The interrogator who spoke very good Arabic wore civilian clothes. In the beginning I was in the room alone with him. He started by asking me where I was at the time of my arrest. He also asked me where I lived and wanted the names of my family members. Then he told me that soldiers saw me throwing stones at them. I told him this wasn’t true. Five minutes later two soldiers entered the room but they didn’t say anything. Then the interrogator asked me if I knew the names of boys who threw stones. I told him I didn’t know anyone who threw stones at soldiers. He accused me of lying and claimed that I did know names. I denied this and told him I lived far away from the main road where most clashes occur. The interrogation lasted about 15 minutes. In the end he showed me a document written in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I refused to sign it because I didn’t understand what it said. The interrogator didn’t ask me for my parents’ number and didn’t allow me to speak to a lawyer or to my family. He didn’t tell me about any of my rights. Then the interrogator left the room and I was alone with the two soldiers. One of the soldiers offered me some chips but I refused.I remained in the room with the soldiers for about one hour. They didn’t say anything to me. An hour later the interrogator came back. It was about 11:00 p.m. He told me they were going to release me. I asked him about my cousin and he told me he was still detained.”
“Then some soldiers put me in a jeep and two soldiers sat with me. A soldier who spoke Arabic told me they were going to hand me over to the Palestinian police. The jeep drove for about five minutes before it arrived at a big gate. The soldiers took me out of the jeep and opened the gate. On the other side there was a jeep with Palestinian police. The soldiers and the police greeted each other and I was handed over to the Palestinian police who took me to Hebron police station. On the way they asked me for my father’s telephone number. They called him and told him to go to the District Coordination Office to pick me up and take me home. At around 1:00a.m. my father showed up and took me home. While waiting, the Palestinian police asked me whether I was beaten and where I was arrested from. I told them exactly what had happened to me.”