|Date:||29 December 2019|
|Location:||Al Arrub, West Bank|
On 29 December 2019, a 15-year-old minor from Al Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports not being informed of his right to silence but consulting with a lawyer over the phone for 15 seconds.
There was very loud banging at our front door at around 3:00 a.m. which woke me up. My father answered the door and about 10 Israeli soldiers entered our home. They asked to check our ID cards.
After checking our ID cards the commander gave my father a document telling him to bring my 12-year-old brother to the police station later that morning. He told my father he had photographic evidence of my brother throwing stones. Then he told my father he wanted to arrest me for questioning about throwing stones. Then he took a photograph of me and my brother.
My sister brought me some clothes and I got dressed. Then a soldier tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was not painful. Then they took me outside and walked me towards a troop carrier where they made me sit on the metal floor. Then they blindfolded me.
Inside the troop carrier a soldier hit me with his gun on my leg. He swore at me and called me a “brother of a whore”. Then I was taken somewhere where I was given a medical examination.
The person who examined me removed the blindfold but kept me tied. After he was finished he put the blindfold back on. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was left outside in the cold for about four hours.
After about four hours I was taken to a room for interrogation. The room did not have any windows and was dark. After a few more hours of waiting I asked to use the toilet and was allowed to. Then I was interrogated.
The interrogator handed me a phone and told me to speak to a lawyer. The lawyer told me to take care of myself but did not inform me of my rights. The conversation lasted for 15 seconds. Then the interrogator accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail at soldiers. When I denied it he slapped me hard on the face and punched me in the forehead. Then he showed me some pictures and told me to confess to throwing stones. He did not inform me of my right to silence. Then he showed me more pictures and wanted me to give him names. I told him I did not know any of the boys in the pictures.
Later the interrogator accused me of throwing stones during clashes on the 27 October 2019 and showed me a photograph. He told me he got the photograph from an informant. At first I denied the accusation but when he punched me again I confessed to throwing two stones from a distance of 50 meters which missed. He questioned me for about two hours. He did not show me any documents to sign.
Then I was questioned by another interrogator who was in police uniform. He told me to repeat what I had told the first interrogator and I did. He did not inform me of my right to consult with a lawyer and in the end he told me I had the right to remain silent. Then he showed me a document written in both Hebrew and Arabic and asked me to sign. I signed it after I read and found out it was identical to what I had said. Then I was taken to a cell where I was searched in my boxer shorts.
The following day, at around noon, I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not there because they were not informed. The hearing was adjourned. After court I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched before being taken to section 13.
I had three military court hearings and at the last one I accepted a plea bargain because the military judge told me I could go home if I did. I was sentenced to one month in prison and fined NIS 1,500. I was also given a suspended sentence of four months valid for three years.
I was released 14 days early on 8 January 2020. Soldiers dropped me off at Al-Jib checkpoint. A young man gave me his phone and I called my father who picked me up an hour later. I arrived home in the evening.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.