||24 October 2021
||Beit Fajjar, West Bank
On 24 October 2021, a 14-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar was served with a written summons by Israeli soldiers at 3:15 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 1 month in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence.
My father woke me up at around 3:15 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers were inside our home. I got up and saw five soldiers in our living room. One of them told my father to collect all the mobile phones in the house. I told the soldier my mobile phone was broken. Then he checked our identity cards and called my name.
A soldier then gave my father a document summoning me to the police station in the morning. The summons was written in Hebrew and we could not read it but the soldier explained it to us. He did not give us any reasons as to why I was being summonsed.
Later that morning, at 9:00 a.m., my parents and I went to the police station in Etzion settlement as ordered. We waited by a door but then were told to go somewhere else. We went but they sent us back to the first place. Finally, two people came and took me inside and told my parents to go home. It was around 11:00 a.m.
I was taken to an interrogation room. The interrogator was in civilian clothes. He did not phone a lawyer for me but told me I had the right to remain silent. I did not really understand what he meant.
Then he accused me of shooting at soldiers when they entered my village and throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail at them. I denied the accusation. He questioned me for about an hour and was calm most of the time. He kept urging me to confess and, in the end, I confessed because I wanted to experience life in prison. When I confessed the interrogator asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew and I signed.
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched and the guard who searched me ordered me to crouch up and down. Then I was taken to the quarantine section for 14 days before being transferred to the minors’ section. About three weeks later I was taken for another interrogation.
The interrogator did not allow me to speak to a lawyer and did not inform me of my right to silence. He accused me of the same accusations but this time I denied them because the other detainees in prison advised me to do so. Then the interrogator wanted to know why I had changed my mind. I told him I confessed because I was scared. The interrogator was typing on his computer and had a camera in the room. He questioned me for about an hour and became aggressive when I denied the accusation. He did not ask me to sign any documents and after the interrogation I was taken back to the cell.
My first military court hearing was one day following my arrest. It was on zoom and my father attended. It was at the first hearing that I spoke to a lawyer for the first time. The military judge extended my detention. In all I had five military court hearings. A week before I was released I was sentenced in a plea bargain to one month in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given a 10 month suspended sentence suspended for three years.
I was released on 28 November 2021, and I went home with the family of another prisoner and my family picked me up from there. I arrived home at around 11:00 p.m. I did not have any family visits because I was released before the scheduled date of the visit. In prison I was bored.