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Home » Children »

Testimony: A.J.

Name: A.J.
Age: 15 years
Date of incident: 11 April 2013
Location: Al 'Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones and Molotovs
 
On 11 April 2013, a 15-year-old boy from the Al 'Arrub refugee camp, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. and taken to the settlement of Gush Etzion.
 
“I was still awake when I heard a knock at the door. It was 3:00 a.m. My father opened the door and five Israeli soldiers entered the house. My father called for me and I went to him. A soldier asked me for my name and then asked me why I threw stones. I told him I didn’t throw stones. He then asked me to get dressed because they were going to take me with them.”
 
“I was taken out of the house to a waiting military jeep. When we got there my hands were tied behind my back with three plastic ties and I was blindfolded. I was then pushed into the vehicle and made to sit on the floor. The soldiers in the vehicle slapped and kicked me along the way. I was taken to the nearby settlement of Etzion. On arrival I was given a medical examination and then taken for interrogation. I didn’t see a lawyer before I was interrogated and no one told me anything about my rights.”
 
“The interrogator introduced himself as 'Orna’. He asked me if I threw stones and I said no. He then accused me of throwing many stones, Molotov cocktails and paint at settler and military vehicles. I denied the accusations. I didn’t confess and I didn’t sign anything. I was then taken to a prison cell in Etzion and later to Ofer prison, near Ramallah. During the next nine days I was taken to the military court every two days or so. The judge kept adjourning the case and I didn’t know what was going on. I had not seen a lawyer all this time. No one explained to me what the issue was. I was told the name of a lawyer who was representing me but I never met or talked to him. I was given a number but his mobile was out of service each time I tried calling.”
 
“I was released on 21 April, nine days after my arrest. I think my lawyer accepted a plea bargain agreement on my behalf. My family had to pay NIS 2,000 (about $550) for my release on bail. I had a court hearing on 11 July but the court clerk told me my name wasn’t listed when I showed up, so I left and went back home. I don’t know what my situation is now.”