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Testimony: A.M.R.A.


Name: A.M.R.A.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 26 December 2016
Location: Beituniya, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 26 December 2016, a 15-year-old youth from Beituniya is arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes near the Wall and accused of throwing stones. He is released on NIS 2,000 bail nine days later.

I was arrested as I tried to run away from Israeli soldiers near the Wall where I was watching boys throwing stones. It was around 10:00 a.m. In the beginning there were no soldiers near us but within five minutes soldiers arrived and a military jeep surprised us from behind.
Three soldiers stepped out of the jeep and yelled at us to stop and aimed their guns at us. I ran as fast as I could towards a nearby farm but the soldiers caught up with me and detained me. As soon as I was detained the soldiers handcuffed me tightly with metal handcuffs and shackled my legs.
One of the soldiers swore at me saying I was a "son of a whore". I was so upset that I swore back at him. When I did so, he beat me all over my body and continued to swear at my mother. I was furious but I didn’t swear back this time because I wanted him to stop beating me.
About five minutes later I was thrown on the floor of a military jeep together with some other boys. We were on top of each other. The soldiers continued to beat me and the other boys.
The jeep drove a short distance to Ofer prison where I was made to sit on the ground outside for about an hour. Then I saw my mother from a distance; I think the soldiers phoned her after they they asked me for her number.
After about an hour of waiting I was put in the back of a jeep with the other boys and the jeep drove to Atarot police station in East Jerusalem.  My mother and the other parents were taken to Atarot in a separate car which drove behind us. We arrived at Atarot at around noon. I was taken to a hall where I sat on a bench. My mother was close by with the other parents and soldiers were guarding us.
While we waited the soldiers brought me some food and I was allowed to use the toilet once. I chatted with the other boys and when I laughed a soldier thought I was making fun of him and made me stand facing the wall for about two hours. My mother watched but she couldn’t do anything; I think she was scared too. I remained in the hall until around 7:00 p.m. when I was taken for interrogation.
My mother was allowed into the interrogation room with me. The interrogator immediately told me that the other boys who were arrested with me confessed against me and said that I was throwing stones at soldiers. He turned to my mother and asked her what she thought of my bahaviour. My mother tried to gesture to me not to confess but the interrogator noticed and he kicked her out of the room.
Then the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers without informing me of any rights. I denied the accusation. After more than an hour the interrogator took me outside where he made me stand for about 30 minutes.
At around 9:00 p.m. I was taken back into the interrogation room. The interrogator repeated the same accusation and wanted me to give him the name of the fourth boy who was with us but I told him I didn’t know the boy’s name and I continued to deny the accusation. Then the interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. Then he took my photograph and my fingerprints and sent me back to the hall.
At around midnight I was taken to Ofer prison. At Ofer they made me wait in a small room for about 30 minutes. Then I was strip searched before being taken to Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court which my mother attended and my lawyer and I was allowed to speak to them. The hearing was adjourned. I had two more military court hearings. On the second one, I waited from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. outside the courtroom but I wasn’t taken to see the judge.
On the third hearing the military court decided to release me on bail. My mother had to pay NIS2,000 and the next hearing was scheduled on 15 February 2017.. They also made my mother sign a NIS15,000 bond payable if I am ever arrested again. In addition they told me I had to report daily at the police station in the settlement of Beit El. My mother did not have enough money so I wasn’t released the same day.
On 3 January 2017, my mother was able to come up with the amount of money and I was released and I went home with her.