|Date:||18 July 2019|
|Location:||Al Fawwar, West Bank|
On 18 July 2019, a 14-year-old minor from Al Fawwar was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 p.m. He reports being interrogated multiple times without first being informed of his legal rights prior to each interrogation.
I was in Al Ram, which is located near the Wall and Qalandia checkpoint, at around 3:00 p.m. on a Thursday. At the time things were quiet. An Israeli military patrol stopped me and took my identity card and then told me I was under arrest because I did not give my true name. They put me in the back of the jeep on the metal floor.
The jeep drove to Ma’aleh Adumim settlement where I was left kneeling on the ground until around 10:00 p.m. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement. At the police station I was blindfolded and tied to the front with metal hand cuffs. The handcuffs were not painful. I was also shackled and then taken to an interrogation room.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to worry and not to be afraid and that this was all normal. He told me not to speak and that I was going to be sent to Ofer and from there I would be sent home. He told me I should consider him as my friend. The interrogator was in the room and tried to listen in. The conversation lasted for about a minute.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator asked me about a boy. He then accused me of throwing stones at settlers from a distance of 10 meters. He also accused me of smashing windows. He told me he had video footage as evidence. I denied the accusation.
I decided not to remain silent because I thought it was better to speak in case the interrogator thought I had something to hide. He questioned me for about 45 minutes and was calm all the time. He told me my file was ready and complete. At the end of the interrogation he wanted me to sign documents written in Hebrew but I refused to sign.
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and asked to crouch up and down while naked. Afterwards I was taken to section 13.
The next day I was taken to Ofer military court. The court was almost empty and nobody was there, not even my parents. The hearing was adjourned.
Two days later I was taken for another interrogation at Kiryat Arba. This interrogator was aggressive. He did not inform me of my rights and did not allow me to speak to a lawyer. He wanted me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign. He questioned me on and off for about three hours and kept asking me to confess and sign the documents but I did not.
I attended about 15 military court hearings. The last one was on 27 November 2019. During this hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 11 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I also received a suspended sentence of 12 months valid for three years. I accepted the sentence because the other boy accused of the same accusation got one year in prison.
I spent most of my prison sentence at Ofer but later I was transferred to Damoun prison, inside Israel, where the conditions were bad. I was granted early release and I was released on 5 February 2020. They released me at Al Jalama checkpoint and the commander called my brother who met me and took me home. I arrived home at around midnight.
My family visited me only once and we were not granted phone calls with our families. The worst thing of this whole experience was missing my family.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.