Testimony - I.A.F.T.
|| 15 July 2018
|| Deir Nidham, West Bank
|| Throwing stones
On 15 July 2018, a 16-year-old youth from Deir Nidham is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports being questioned without being informed of his right to silence but is permitted to speak to a lawyer by phone. He is released without charge on 20 July 2018.
A week before I was arrested the military commander of the area phoned me and told me he wanted to have a chat and urged me to turn myself in. He threatened that if I did not oblige he would find other ways to get me. I told him I was not going to oblige.
On the 15 July 2018 I was asleep on a mattress on the floor when an Israeli soldier woke me up by kicking me in the side. It was around 3:00 a.m. I got up and saw lots of soldiers in our house. I found out later that they went to my uncle’s house first and then told him to accompany them to our house.
I asked the soldier who kicked me what he wanted and he told me to get up and put some clothes on because I was under arrest. My mother tried to reason with the soldier and told him I was not involved in anything wrong. I felt sorry for my mother who was stressed and I told her not to worry about me. Then the soldiers searched the house but did not cause any damage.
The soldiers then took me outside without giving my parents any documents. They walked me towards a nearby field where I was blindfolded and tied with my hands behind my back with 3 plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. The ties were not painful.
Then I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove to the nearby military base and on the way a soldier pushed me off the seat on to the floor and swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”.
At the base I was taken to a room and the military commander for the area came in and told me the fact that I was there is proof that they can find me if they want to. He left and two soldiers entered the room and kicked and beat me using their weapons all over my body. They swore at me and called me “a son of a whore” and then they left.
Shortly afterwards I was taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement where I waited in a room from around 5:00 a.m. until around 3:00 p.m. During this time I was allowed to use the toilet and I was given some food and drink. At around 3:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
I was interrogated by a female policewoman who questioned me through an interpreter. She had a voice recorder on the desk and was typing on a computer. She asked me whether I had a lawyer. I gave her the name of a lawyer and she allowed me to speak to her on the phone. The lawyer told me I had the right to remain silent during interrogation and not say anything.
After I spoke to my lawyer the interrogator began without informing me of my other rights. The interrogator told me there was video evidence showing me throwing stones at a security camera outside the nearby settlement. She claimed my objective was to break the camera so that I could enter the settlement undetected and conduct an attack. I smiled because it was such a ridiculous allegation.
A policeman who was also in the room phoned my father and told him I was in their custody. Then the interrogator told me half of those arrested by the authorities end up confessing and the authorities have respect for those who confess. She also told me it was unethical to tell lies.
Then she asked me whether I was the person seen in the video throwing stones at the security camera and I told her it was not me. When she heard my answer she accused me of lying. I told her I was not going to confess and she responded by telling me she was going to let dogs attack me. She also threatened to send me for interrogation by an intelligence officer at Al Maskobiyeh where I would be forced to confess.
I was interrogated for about an hour and I did not confess. I also refused to sign documents they handed me that were written in Hebrew. I told the interrogator I was not going to sign any documents until and unless a lawyer or my father are present. At around 5:00 p.m. I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched before being put in Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. I did not enter the court room but was left waiting from around 7:00 a.m. until around 7:00 p.m. Then I was taken back to prison. The following day one of the senior prisoners called my name and told me I was going to be released. I was very happy.