|Date:||12 August 2018|
|Location:||Askar, West Bank|
On 12 August 2018, a 17-year-old youth from Askar is arrested by Israeli soldiers near a settlement close to his home. He reports being informed of his legal rights but not consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation.
I was with some friends in the fields near the settlement not far from my home. It was around 3:30 p.m. I got too close to the settlement fence and an alarm went off. Shortly afterwards two Israeli military vehicles came towards us. Two of my friends were arrested but I managed to run away.
Later I went back to the site and I was ambushed by soldiers who were hiding in some bushes. My hands were tied behind my back with 2 plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were very tight and painful and cut into my wrists and caused swelling. I was also blindfolded. The soldiers swore at me and called me “an asshole”. They also tied my feet with plastic ties and led me towards the settlement. I could not walk properly because of the ties and fell to the ground many times.
Inside the settlement I was taken to a shipping container. I was surrounded by soldiers and settlers who waved Israeli flags close to my face. One of them shouted at me and called me “a terrorist” and said he was going to kill all of us. I was left there from around 5:00 p.m. until around midnight.
At around 5:00 p.m. I was taken to Huwwara military base. I sat on the metal floor in the back of a jeep and I was tied and shackled and blindfolded.
At Huwwara I was examined by a doctor. Then I was taken outside where I waited in an open area until around 3:00 a.m. Then I was taken to Ariel settlement. I arrived there at around 4:00 a.m.
On arrival at Ariel a soldier removed the ties and asked me to stand on 1 leg and I remained in that position until around 7:00 a.m. He also made me lift my hands above my head. They also put the air conditioner on very cold and I was very uncomfortable. At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator handed me a document in Arabic and Hebrew saying I could consult with a lawyer and I had the right to remain silent. It also said remaining silent could be used against me. I told the interrogator I did not need a lawyer because I had not done anything wrong. I told him I wanted to defend myself.
Then, in a raised tone of voice, he accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail and told me I had to confess immediately. Then he wanted to know what I was doing in the area near the settlement and who else was with me. Then he told me he had photographic evidence and fingerprints. I knew he was not telling the truth and I denied the accusation.
I was interrogated for about an hour. In the end he told me my friends were caught with Molotov cocktails and because I was with them I was accused of the same thing. He gave me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign but I refused to sign anything in a language I did not understand. But then he told me he knew exactly where I lived and my friends had confessed against me and I was intimidated and decided to sign because I did not want to cause problems.
After the interrogation I was taken to Huwwara military base where I waited outside in the sun from around 9:00 a.m. until around 3:00 p.m. Then I was strip searched and taken to a cell. I was given some dry pasta and bread.
At around 7:00 p.m. I was taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel. At Megiddo I was strip searched again before being taken to the juvenile section.
The following day I was taken to Salem military court. My parents did not attend and the hearing was adjourned. I had about 8 military court hearings.
At the last hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 6 months and 1 day in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I also received a suspended sentence of 18 months in prison valid for 3 years. My lawyer told me if I rejected the plea bargain I would spend 18 months in prison, so I accepted it.
My parents visited me 3 months after my arrest because the permit took a long time to be issued. They visited me 5 times only. In prison I studied Arabic and Mathematics and Hebrew. I also cooked for the other prisoners and became a very good cook.
I was released at Al Jalama checkpoint on 14 January 2019. No one was waiting for me and then finally my brother showed up. I arrived home at around 11:00 p.m.