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Home » Children »

Testimony: B.A.M.I.

 

Name: B.A.M.I.
Age: 12
Date: 27 July 2022
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing Molotov cocktails, shooting
 
On 27 July 2022, a 12-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated several times without first being informed of his right to silence. 
 
It was the summer holidays and we were all gathered in the courtyard behind our house chatting and having fun. It was around 2:00 a.m. Suddenly a group of Israeli soldiers came on foot and surrounded the area. We heard loud banging at our front door. My father answered and about 30 soldiers entered our home.
 
A female soldier took my mother and sister into the bathroom and physically searched them. Then the commander told me, my mother and my younger siblings to go into one of the bedrooms and told my father and older brother to go into the living room. They left us there for a long time. My mother wanted to bring some water from the kitchen but they did not allow her, and they did not allow her to open the bedroom door.
 
Then the soldiers called for me and asked me to hand over the weapons. I told them I did not have any weapons. Then they searched our home and took everything out of the cupboards and wardrobes and made a huge mess. They remained in our house for about two hours.  When my mother was let out and she saw the condition of the house she vomited. 
 
Then the soldiers gave my father a document with details about my arrest filled out in Hebrew. The document had a phone number my parents could call but when they called no one answered. The commander told my father to go to the police station in Etzion settlement in the morning to see me. My father went and waited from around 8:00 a.m. until around noon but he was not allowed in. 
 
When the soldiers took me outside our house they tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were very tight and painful and cut into my wrists and my hands swelled and turned blue. Then they walked me towards a military jeep and I was taken to the back where I sat on a seat. Inside the jeep a soldier blindfolded me and the other soldiers made fun of me.
 
I was taken to Etzion police station where I was given a quick medical examination. Then I was taken to a room where I was left with two other boys until the following morning. During this time, the soldiers gave me some water and allowed me to use the toilet. At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator was overweight and wearing civilian clothes. He removed the blindfold but kept me tied. He phoned a lawyer and I spoke to him. The lawyer asked me whether I was suspected of throwing stones and I said yes. Then he told me not to confess. The interrogator was listening and the conversation lasted for about a minute. 
 
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator told me my friend had confessed against me. Then he told me I was in his office because I was accused of shooting at soldiers and of throwing three Molotov cocktails. He also told me my friend claimed I had sent him to shoot at soldiers. I denied the accusations.
 
When I refused to answer any more questions, the interrogator got mad and shouted at me and told me to speak and confess because he knew everything about me. He questioned me for about three hours. During this time, I was taken into another room with another interrogator who asked me the same questions. This interrogator was typing on his computer. At the end I confessed to shooting and throwing Molotov cocktails.
 
Then the interrogator asked me to sign on the screen of an electronic device and I signed without knowing what I had signed on. Afterwards they took my fingerprints and then took me back to the room. Sometime later I was walked a long distance to a military jeep which took me to Ofer prison. The drive took about three hours and then I was left in the jeep outside Ofer for about four hours. 
 
Eventually I was taken inside the prison where I was searched. The guard asked me to pull down my trousers while he searched me. Then I was taken to section 13. The following day I had my first military court hearing. My parents were not informed and they did not attend the hearing. The lawyer and the military judge were talking in Hebrew and I did not understand what was going on. 
 
The following day I was interrogated again. The interrogator allowed me to speak to a lawyer but did not inform me of my right to silence. He named a friend of mine and asked me if I knew him. Then he wanted to know what I knew about my friend. Then he asked me the same questions about another friend. He questioned me for about two hours and showed me video footage of my two friends. Then he asked me to sign on the screen of an electronic device. I signed without understanding what I was signing.
 
I had three military court hearings; the last one was on the day of my release. My parents were fined NIS 1,700 and the judge imposed a suspended sentence of NIS 5,000 which my parents would have to pay if I am arrested again in the next eight months.
 
I was released at Ofer on 3 August 2022 and I went home with my father and brother. My father took us to a restaurant in Ramallah and then we went home. We arrived home at around 2:00 a.m.