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Testimony: A.A.A.T.


Name: A.A.A.T.
Age: 12
Date of incident: 7 March 2016
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Theft
On 7 March 2016, a 12-year-old boy is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. and accused of theft. He is released 15 hours later.
I was asleep when my father woke me and told me Israeli soldiers were inside our home. It was 2:00 a.m. The soldiers asked my father to bring all the young men to the living room and my father told them all his children were very young. The commander told him to wake everyone up and that it didn’t matter if they were all young children.
When my father came to wake me up the commander was with him. My father told the commander I was too young but the commander told him it didn’t matter and that he wanted to arrest me. I looked around and saw lots of soldiers and I was scared. The commander asked me for my name and he immediately told me I was under arrest.
My father had an argument with the commander and told him I was only 12-years-old. He told them to leave me alone and that he would accompany me to the police station in the morning but the commander refused. My father wanted to accompany me but he was not allowed.
The commander gave my father a document and asked him to sign it. The commander took the document with him. I put my clothes on and the soldiers took me outside. My mother was crying hysterically. The soldiers did not tell my parents where they were taking me or why they were arresting me. The soldiers were in a hurry.
As soon as they took me outside they tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. They took me into the front of a troop carrier and made me sit next to some soldiers. Inside the troop carrier they also blindfolded me. The carrier drove for about 15 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement.
At Etzion a doctor removed the blindfold and examined me. I was then blindfolded again. I was then taken to a room with wooden boxes and I was asked to sit on the boxes. I remained in the room until around 11:00 a.m. when an interrogator took me to the interrogation room.
The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept my tie on. Before starting to interrogate me he told me he was going to call a lawyer. The lawyer told me not to be afraid. The interrogator asked me for my father’s number but I couldn’t remember it. He then accused me of being in the firing zone where soldiers train near Beit Fajjar and that I stole bullets from there. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. He then showed me a video clip of a boy walking in the field near the firing zone. I denied that the person was me and told the interrogator even if it was me I wasn’t stealing bullets.
The interrogator then told me if I didn’t confess he was going to make me sit on an electric chair. I was terrified. He then spoke to someone and asked that person to bring the electric chair.
The interrogator then asked me about other boys from the village. He wanted me to confess against them and to say that they throw stones at soldiers and that they also manufacture weapons. He wanted to know whether I saw the boys carrying weapons in the village. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about.
A soldier entered the room and started to threaten that if I didn’t confess he was going to drill a hole in my head. I could hear the sound of a drill outside the room. The interrogator again tried to get a confession from me about other boys carrying weapons and I told him I didn’t know anything about this topic. He then told me he wanted me to show him where the weapons were and I swore I didn’t know anything about weapons.
He then took my photograph and my fingerprints and wanted to take a DNA sample from my mouth but I refused to open my mouth but he forced me to open my mouth and took a saliva sample. He then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused to sign. He then called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to sign any documents. The interrogator verbally abused me and called me son of a whore and brother of a fucker. He threatened to beat me if I didn’t sign and in the end I signed the document.
I was then taken to a courtyard where I sat on a chair. I asked for some food and water and they only brought me some water. I then realized that they had called my father and asked him to bring NIS 1,000 in order for them to release me. My father paid the money and I was released. The interrogator told me my hearing was scheduled for 1 September 2016. I was released at around 5:00 p.m. and I went home with my father.