|Date:||3 January 2017|
|Location:||Beit Fajjar, West Bank|
On 3 January 2017, a 15-year-old youth from Beit Fajjar is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. and accused of possessing a pipe bomb. He is interrogated without being informed of his legal rights.
I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. to the sound of our front door being broken in. Shortly afterwards Israeli soldiers entered the house and ordered all of us into one room while they searched the house for about one-and-a-half hours. They also searched around the house but they did not tell us what they were looking for.
After the search they checked my father’s identity card and took a picture of the annex and then told him they wanted to arrest me. They did not give us any written documents and did not tell us why they were arresting me or where they were taking me.
They took me outside and the commander immediately wanted to know where I had hidden "the weapons". I told him I had no weapons. Then they found a wooden baton and took it with them.
I was then blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back with one plastic tie which was not tight. Then they put me in the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor.
The jeep drove for about five minutes to Etzion settlement where I was taken to a room and I sat on the floor. I remained in the room, tied and blindfolded, for about seven hours. I could not sleep at all because the soldiers were shouting and singing loudly. During this time a doctor examined me. He removed the blindfold during the examination and put it back on when he was done. Then I was taken for interrogation in the early afternoon.
The interrogator removed the tie and the blindfold. He immediately accused me of possessing a pipe bomb without informing me that I had any rights. I told him I did not have any pipe bombs and that after my prior imprisonment I lost interest in such things. But he kept insisting and told me this had nothing to do with my previous imprisonment.
I was interrogated for about two hours and then he re-blindfolded and taken outside and made me sit out in the cold where I remained until around 4:00 p.m. Then he took me back for another round of interrogation.
This time two more interrogators joined the first one and they all questioned me about pipe bombs. I continued to deny the accusation and told them I had nothing to do with pipe bombs. I was interrogated for about 30 minutes and I was tied and blindfolded the whole time.
After the second interrogation I was taken back to the courtyard where I sat on the ground until around 6:00 p.m.
At around 6:00 p.m. I was taken for a third interrogation with a police interrogator. The police interrogator asked me the same questions and repeated the same accusation and I continued to deny the accusation.
At the end of the third interrogation the police interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused and told him I wasn’t going to sign any documents without the presence of a lawyer. Then I was photographed and fingerprinted before being strip searched. I was then taken to a cell where they removed the tie and the blindfold. I remained there until around 5:00 a.m.
At around 5:00 a.m. some soldiers shackled and handcuffed me to the front and took me to a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. The carrier drove for about 90 minutes to Ofer prison. At Ofer I was strip searched again and taken to a room where I waited for about an hour and then I was taken into Section 13.
Three days later I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents attended and I was allowed to speak to them. I had about 10 hearings. On the last one I accepted a plea bargain where I confessed to possessing a pipe bomb and in return I was sentenced to 3 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of eight months valid for five years.
I spent half my prison sentence at Ofer and the other half at Megiddo prison inside Israel. I was released form Ofer on 15 March 2017 at around 8:00 p.m. and I went home by myself because my parents were not notified. I did not study in prison because I did not want to.