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Home » Children »

Testimony: Y.Y.Z.D.

 

Name: Y.Y.Z.D.
Age: 14
Date: 9 January 2019
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: N/A
 
On 9 January 2019, a 14-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 1:30 p.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to silence and his right to consult with a lawyer.
 
I was at my friend’s house when Israeli soldiers went to my uncle’s house looking for me. It was around 1:00 p.m. Then they went to our house and banged at the front gate and dented it. My parents were not home. 
 
The commander phoned my father asking for me. My father asked for one hour and he would bring me to the police station himself. The soldiers did not wait and broke our front door and came into our house. My older brother phoned my father and told him what had happened. My father asked to speak to the commander and begged him not to break anything. He told him he would bring me to the police station in half-an-hour. 
 
My father then phoned me and told me to go home. As soon as I entered our house the soldiers took me to my bedroom and started to question me about a pipe bomb. They did not inform me of my rights. When I told them I did not have a pipe bomb one of the soldiers slapped me hard on the face. Then they changed tactics and another soldier calmly told me I was like his son and to fetch the pipe. They were looking for a piece of pipe which I had put together in the shape of a gun.
 
Without giving my parents any written documents, they took me downstairs and made me sit on the ground in front of our neighbour’s house. Then they tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were tight and painful. I was also blindfolded.  Then they took me to the back of a military jeep and made me sit on the metal floor between the soldiers’ legs. The jeep then drove to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was immediately taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator removed the blindfold and started to ask me questions without informing me of any rights. He wanted to know where I had got that pipe from. I told him I made it myself and that it was just a toy that looked like a gun. He was calm as he questioned me. 
 
Half-way through the interrogation he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess but he did not say anything about my right to silence. The interrogator listened to the conversation which lasted a few minutes as he had put me on speaker phone. 
 
Then he showed me video footage of boys from my village throwing stones at the soldiers who had come to arrest me and wanted me to give him their names. I told him I did not know the boys. He interrogated me for about three hours. Sometimes he would ask me some questions and then would leave the room and come back again. 
 
Towards the end of the interrogation he showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them and I did although I did not understand a word. Then I was blindfolded and taken to a cell. 
 
Before entering the cell I was searched with my clothes on and the ties and blindfold were then removed. I spent one night at Etzion. I was given some food but the cell was freezing cold.
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and taken to section 13. 
 
The next morning I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend because they were not told and the hearing was adjourned. 
 
I had three military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced to four months in prison and fined NIS 1,500. I was also given a suspended sentence but I cannot remember the details.
 
I spent two months at Ofer and then I was transferred to Megiddo prison inside Israel.  I found this transition very hard because I had made friends at Ofer. My parents did not visit me in prison at all because they were denied permits for security reasons. This was the hardest aspect of being in prison; not being in touch with my family and not hearing their news.
 
I have now dropped out of school because I could not keep up. I would like to learn how to ride horses. My parents are worried about me; my mother keeps my bedroom shutters down so that I stay in bed and don’t go out and get into trouble.