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Testimony: M.A.K.A.


Name: M.A.K.A.
Age: 16
Date: 7 August 2017
Location: Tuqu', West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 7 August 2017 a 16-year-old youth from Tuqu' is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m.  He reports not being informed of his right to silence or his right to consult with a lawyer prior to being interrogated. 

I woke up when I received a message on my smart phone telling me there were Israeli soldiers in our neighbourhood. It was 4:00 a.m. Shortly afterwards I heard a bang at our front door. My father answered and about seven masked soldiers entered the house. There were many more outside.
The soldiers separated me and my father from the rest of the family and asked for our identity cards. The soldiers then told my father they wanted to arrest me. They gave my father a standard printed form with details filled out in Hebrew about my arrest. They allowed me to say goodbye to my family and to put my clothes on. They asked my father if he was hiding other boys in the house and he said no. My younger sister was terrified when a soldier with a gun stood outside the room and prevented anyone from leaving.
The soldiers took me outside where they tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was tight and very painful. They also blindfolded me. I was then put in the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat.
The jeep drove a short distance to the nearby military base. On arrival at the base I complained about the tie. A soldier replaced the tie with a looser one and tied me to the front and gave me some water to drink. A doctor removed the blindfold and took my blood pressure and then blindfolded me again.
At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement. I asked to use the toilet but I was denied. At around 7:30 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator did not inform me of my rights. He kept the tie and the blindfold on and gently held me by the neck and told me I was like his son. Then he accused me of throwing stones and Molotov at soldiers on the day when a young person from the village was killed. I denied the accusation. Then he accused me of lying and insisted that I confess. He then said I was "a fucker son of a whore". He also threatened to send me to a room where soldiers would beat me up if I did not confess. He told me to be straight with him if I wanted him to be straight with me. I told him how on earth did he expect me to confess with my eyes still blindfolded and then he removed the blindfold.
Then the interrogator took me to another room and made me show him all the photos on my telephone. I showed him selfies with my friends. He wanted to know my friends’ names. When I refused to give names he blindfolded me again. He interrogated me for about 90 minutes. Then he took me to another room where he took my fingerprints and then he took me to see another interrogator.
The second interrogator had a tape recorder. He showed me a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. He told me the document was about my right to remain silent. I signed the document. Then he asked me to repeat what I had told the first interrogator because he wanted to record everything. I told him I denied all the accusations. Then he showed me other documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused.
The second interrogator then he called a person and spoke to him in Hebrew and then told me this was a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. I had doubts that the person was a lawyer and I made this clear to the person and told him I did not want to speak to him. The person told me to remain silent and not to confess or give confessions about others.
In all the interrogations lasted for about seven hours. I was without food or drink the whole time. The interrogator at one point offered to bring me some tea but he never did. He asked me whether I smoked and I said no.
At the end of the interrogations I was taken to a cell in Etzion where I was searched in my underwear. At around 11:00 p.m. I was taken in a GMC vehicle and taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and taken to Section 13.
Three days later I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not in court and the hearing was adjourned.
In all I had four appearances in the military court. At the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to three months in prison and fined 2,000 shekels. In addition I was given a suspended sentence of eight months valid for three years.
In prison I studied Arabic and Mathematics. I was released on 22 October 2017 and I went home with my father. We arrived home at around midnight.
This was my second imprisonment and my father told me he wasn’t going to visit me in prison or attend court hearings or pay any fines if I am arrested again. He was very upset when I dropped out of school.  He wants me to go back to school but I don’t want to.