|Date:||7 June 2021|
|Location:||Al Khader, West Bank|
On 7 June 2021, a 17-year-old minor from Al Khader was arrested from home by Israeli soldiers at 4:30 a.m. He reports being interrogated several times without being fully informed of all his legal rights prior to each interrogation.
I was arrested from home at around 4:30 a.m. My father was not home at the time. My mother woke me up and told me Israeli soldiers were at the front door; she wanted to wake me up before letting them into our home. Then I heard loud banging at the front door. My mother opened the door and around 20 soldiers entered our house and rushed into my bedroom. My mother was worried and told the soldiers to leave me alone because I needed to undergo surgery soon because of a gunshot in my leg. She pleaded with the commander not to beat me and she gave him the medicine I was taking. The commander told her not to worry and said they would treat my wound.
Then they told me I was under arrest and to get dressed. They took me outside on crutches. They did not tie my hands or blindfold me. I waited a short while outside the house until a military jeep arrived. I was then put in the back of the jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove along a dirt road. Then they asked me to sign on a document written in Arabic saying I was not physically hurt. I read it and signed it.
Then I was put in the back of another military jeep which took me to a hospital in Jerusalem. On the way I felt severe pain in my injured leg when the Jeep turned a sharp curve and I screamed. When I screamed a soldier struck me with the back of his gun on my back. At the hospital a doctor asked me to move my toes and then told me everything was ok. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement. I arrived at Etzion at around noon and I was left outside in the cold weather for about until around 4:00 p.m. and then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator asked me whether I had a lawyer. Then he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me I had the right to remain silent and that the interrogator does not have the right to beat me. The interrogator was listening on speaker phone and the call lasted for about a minute.
The interrogator wore civilian clothes. He did not inform me of my right to silence but told me I had to tell the truth during the interrogation. Then he accused me of threatening the security in the area. I denied the accusation. He had a calm style and tried to make me feel safe. He wanted me to tell him the circumstances in which I was shot in my leg. I told him I was with my friend near the wall during Ramadan when I was shot with one bullet just under the knee and another dumdum bullet which shattered my leg.
He asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew and when I refused to sign he became angry. I asked him to translate it for me but he refused and I told him I was not going to sign a document I did not understand. He responded by swearing at me. The interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes.
After the interrogation I was searched in my boxer shorts and then taken to a cell. I slept one night there and then I was transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. On the way a soldier passed on a telephone and told me it was my court hearing on zoom. My parents were not informed about this hearing and they were not present. My detention was extended. At Megiddo I was strip searched before being taken to the quarantine section where I spent 16 days.
Seven days later I was taken for interrogation by an intelligence officer. I tried to call a lawyer prior to the interrogation but the lawyer did not answer his phone. Then, without informing me of my right to silence the interrogator repeated the same accusation. He wore civilian clothes and I continued to deny the accusation. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and then asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign.
After spending 16 days at the quarantine section I was transferred to the minors’ section at Megiddo. I had about 10 military court hearings and at the last one, which was three days before I was released, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to three months in prison and a fine. I don't recall the amount of the fine. I was also given a suspended sentence of six months suspended for five years. The court decided to release me in time for my scheduled surgery.
I spent the rest of my prison sentence at Megiddo prison. I found it very boring because I could not walk or exercise. I did not attend any classes because it was the summer holiday and I did not have any family visits because my parents did not get a permit in time.
I was released at Salem checkpoint on 25 August 2021 and I went home with my father, my brother and my uncle. I arrived home at around 10:00pm.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.