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Testimony: H.M.W.

Name: H.M.W.
Age: 15 years
Date of incident: 5 June 2013
Location: Al Khadr, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
A 15-year-old boy from the village of Al Khadr, near Bethlehem, is arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes near the Wall.
At around 10:00 a.m. I was near the Wall where there were clashes between Israeli soldiers and boys from the village. Suddenly, soldiers started to chase the boys who ran away. I ran away too. Some soldiers chased and caught me. They kicked me hard all over my body which was very painful. Then I was handcuffed which was very painful. I was taken to a jeep and blindfolded. I was pushed inside a jeep and made to sit on the metal floor. I remained in the jeep for about 15 minutes and then I heard the voice of my father talking to the soldiers asking them to release me. The soldiers didn’t listen to my father but he managed to push his way into the jeep.”
“The jeep drove away and when it arrived at the entrance to Etzion settlement they let my father off. I was then immediately taken for questioning. It was around 1:00 p.m.There were two interrogators and I felt a bit scared because I was by myself with them. They removed the blindfold but kept the handcuffs on. They didn’t ask me if I wanted to speak to a lawyer or to my family. One of the interrogators started by saying: 'Are you going to confess or shall we use violence against you?’ He then said: 'If you don’t speak from your mouth you will speak from your ass.’ The two interrogators wanted me to confess to throwing stones but I told them I didn’t throw stones. Then the interrogators started playing 'good cop, bad cop’ with me. One of them pretended he wanted to help me and gave me the impression that it was in my interest to confess. The other interrogator pretended he was about to beat me while the other one tried to calm him down and kept him away from me saying: 'leave him alone he will confess without us beating him’.”
“At one point the angry interrogator punched me very hard in my stomach and I felt so much pain that I lost consciousness for a few minutes. When I recovered I found myself in another room with a female doctor. The doctor asked me if I had diabetes and whether I suffered from any other illnesses. I told her I wasn’t ill but it was the interrogator who punched me on the stomach, but she didn’t say anything.”
“After the medical check I was taken back to the interrogation room and on the way back I asked to use the bathroom. The angry interrogator removed the hand tie and took me to the bathroom but didn’t want me to shut the door. When I tried to shut the door he slammed it on my hand causing my fingernail to come off. When the other interrogator found out what had happened he kicked out the angry interrogator and asked him to leave, which he did. Then I was taken back to the interrogation room and a soldier entered and told the interrogator that he had seen me from a distance throwing stones using a slingshot. Then I confessed that I threw stones. The interrogator wrote down my statement and I signed it. I don’t remember if it was in Arabic or in Hebrew. Then they took my fingerprints and photographed me and took me to a prison cell in Etzion where I spent one night.”

“The following day I was taken to Ofer prison where I spent the first night in a small room (2X2 meters) by myself. Food was brought to me and I was allowed to use the bathroom. The following day I was taken to the military court. My mother was in court. The hearing was adjourned and I was taken back to prison, this time I was taken to the juvenile section. I think I had about six court hearings and because of the soldier’s testimony and my confession I was sentenced to four months in prison, fined 1,000 Shekels and given an eight-month suspended sentence, for four years. I served most of my prison sentence in Ofer but during the last nine days I was transferred to Megiddo prison inside Israel. I was released on 5 October at Al-Jalameh checkpoint, which is very far from my home. My family was waiting for me there. I didn’t take any lessons while in prison.”