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Testimony: K.I.H.A.


Name: K.I.H.A.
Age: 16
Date: 19 July 2017
Location: Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation: Membership banned organisation

On 19 July 2017, a 16-year-old youth from Beit Ummar is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated without being informed of his legal rights. He is released without charge 9 hours later.

On 6 June 2017, Israeli soldiers came to our house at around 7:00 a.m. and delivered a summons in my name asking me to go to the police station in Etzion settlement. In accordance with the summons I went to the police station with my father and I was questioned by an intelligence officer who claimed he had information that I took part in protests and threw stones at soldiers. The purpose of the meeting was to warn me against taking part in such activities any more. He told me he was going to arrest me if I did not stop. The meeting took about two hours and both my father and uncle were present.
On 19 July 2017, I woke up at around 2:00 a.m. when I heard banging at our front door. My father answered and a group of Israeli soldiers entered our home and told my father they had come to arrest me. They did not give him any documents and did not give a reason for my arrest.
They barely gave me time to get dressed before taking me outside where I was blindfolded and handcuffed with my hands behind my back. The metal handcuffs were very tight and painful. They also shackled my ankles and then put me in the back of a military jeep and made me sit on the metal floor between the soldiers’ legs. Someone hit me in my waist and I felt severe pain.
The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to the military base in the settlement of Karmi Zur. On arrival at the base I sat on the ground for about 15 minutes. During this time soldiers passed by and verbally abused me and said terrible things about my mother. Some of the soldiers kicked me as they went by.
After about 15 minutes I was put back in the jeep which drove for about 30 minutes to the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Kiryat Arba a soldier grabbed me by my T-Shirt and tore it then he pushed me to the ground and my trousers were torn. Then I was examined by a doctor. I complained to the doctor about pain in my waist because of the beating but he did not do anything.
After the medical check I was put back in the jeep where I remained for about 15 minutes. Then the jeep drove for about 30 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement.
On arrival at Etzion I was taken to a room with lots of computer screens and lots of soldiers. I sat on a chair in the corner. I was still handcuffed, blindfolded and shackled. It was possible to see a bit from beneath my blindfold. The soldiers asked me to bend my head down and they pushed my head down each time I lifted it up. Later a soldier tightened my blindfold. At around 8:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and the handcuffs and offered me a cigarette which I refused. He asked me how I was and I told him I was fine. Then he told me I had two choices: either I could co-operate with him in a straightforward way or I don’t. I told him I was going to be straightforward. He did not inform me of my rights and did not contact my parents.
The interrogator accused me of belonging to a banned organization and throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs at soldiers. When I told him this was not true he became angry and blindfolded me and handcuffed me again. Then he pushed me and showed me a photograph of me sitting doing nothing. Again I denied all the accusations and he slapped and punched me hard in the face and my nose was bleeding.
I was interrogated for about an hour. Then another interrogator took over. He repeated the same accusations and told me he knew everything going on in the village and that he had informants who told him everything about me and the village. He told me there were more informants in the village than I could ever imagine and that their numbers exceeded non-informants. He said it was in my interest to tell him the truth. He urged me to confess. I told him I did not do anything wrong and there was nothing for me to confess.
At the end of the interrogation he printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused because I did not want him to implicate me. At around 11:00 a.m. I was released without charge. On my way out a commander told me next time he was not going to arrest me but send me to God in a black bag. He also told me that when I turn 18 he was going to lock me up and never release me. I went home by myself and I arrived home at around noon.