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Testimony: Y.Z.S.

Name: Y.Z.S.
Age: 16 years
Date of incident: 6 October 2013
Location: Al Khadr, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/Molotov cocktails
On 6 October 2013, a 16-year-old boy from Al Khadr village, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 1:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.
I was asleep when my father woke me up at around 1:00 a.m. and told me there were soldiers in the house. I went downstairs with my father and saw about ten soldiers. One of the soldiers asked me for my name and I told him. He asked me to sit on the floor and asked my mother to bring my birth certificate. The soldiers didn’t wait for my mother to come back and took me outside where they painfully tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie and blindfolded me. They didn’t tell my family or me why they were taking me or where and they didn’t have anything in writing.”
“The soldiers escorted me to the nearby cemetery where more soldiers were waiting. I was then pushed into a jeep and they swore at me. They made me sit on the metal floor but did not beat me. The jeep drove to a military camp near Beit Jala. On arrival I was taken out of the jeep and a soldier put a bottle of water in my pocket. Then they put me back in the jeep, which drove to Etzion settlement. On arrival at the settlement I was made to wait outside until around 6:00 a.m. when the interrogator came and took me inside. Inside the interrogation room was the interrogator and a soldier.”
“Once inside the interrogation room, my blindfold was removed and I was untied. The interrogator asked me if I threw stones or Molotov cocktails. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about. He then started to shout and swear at me and then threatened that if I didn’t confess he would give me an electric shock. I did not confess. The interrogation lasted for about half-an-hour. I was then taken outside by a soldier and re-tied and blindfolded. I waited outside until the afternoon. Then the soldier took me back to the interrogation room. The interrogator asked me again if I threw stones and if I knew anyone else who did. He claimed that other children had confessed against me. I was scared and decided to confess that I threw stones. The second interrogation lasted about ten minutes. I don’t know if the interrogation was recorded.”
“After I confessed I was taken to see a policeman who wrote out a statement and took my fingerprints. He then made me sign the statement, which was written in Hebrew. Only after I had signed the statement did the policeman ask me if I wanted to speak to a lawyer or to my family. He asked me for my father’s telephone number. Neither the interrogator nor the policeman told me I had the right to silence and that confessing could harm me. I wasn’t given any food or drink and I wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom; I was too scared to ask. I don’t know whether or not the policeman called my father, but I did not speak to my family.”
“At around 10:00 p.m. I was taken to a cell in Etzion and was given some food to eat. The following day I was taken to Ofer prison, near Ramallah. I was told that I had a court hearing on Monday, 7 October. I met my lawyer for the first time in Ofer military court on Monday. He told me that I was going to be interrogated again and that my case was re-scheduled for Thursday, 10 October. The military judge then extended my detention. I wasn’t interrogated again while I was in Ofer. On Thursday I was taken to a waiting room outside the court and then I was released with another boy. I did not appear in court again. I don’t know whether there was a bargain to release me or what happened. My mother was waiting outside Ofer because she thought I was going to have a court hearing. I went home with her. We arrived home at around midnight. I wasn’t convicted of anything and my family didn’t have to pay any money.”