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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.F.F.A.

 

Name: M.F.F.A.
Age: 16
Date: 6 September 2017
Location: Hebron, West Bank
Accusation: Attempted stabbing
 
On 6 September 2017, a 16-year-old youth from Hebron is stopped by an Israeli soldier outside the Mosque and searched. After a penknife is found in his pocked he is accused of an attempted stabbing.  He is released on bail on 25 September.
 
I was near the mosque in Hebron at around 1:00 p.m. when an Israeli soldier stopped me and asked to see my identity card. When I told him I had forgotten it at home he accused me of lying and wanted to search me. When he put his hand in my pocket and found a pen knife he went crazy. He took away my telephone and my money and made me take my shoes and my top off.
 
About five minutes later around six soldiers walked towards me and the soldier who conducted the search pointed at me. Another soldier then tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful and cut into my wrists. He also blindfolded me and pushed me to the ground.
 
Once I was on the ground the other soldiers started to kick and beat me all over my body. They also swore at me saying I was a "son of a whore". Then they removed the blindfold and made me walk a short distance and made me stand in a corner. One of the soldiers then beat me with the back of his gun and pushed me to the ground. I fell on my jaw because my hands were tied which caused me severe pain.
 
A soldier noticed my wrists were bleeding because of the tie and he replaced it with metal handcuffs to the front. I remained like this for about 30 minutes.
 
After 30 minutes I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep took me to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At the police station they made me sit on a metal stool for about three hours while handcuffed. During this time I was allowed to use the toilet and to drink some water. Then I was taken for interrogation. It was around 5:00 p.m.
 
The interrogator wore a police uniform. He turned a tape recorder on but did not remove my handcuffs.   He asked me if I knew a lawyer and I told him I did not. He then phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to her. The lawyer told me not to confess. The interrogator also phoned my mother. He also told me I had the right to remain silent and the right not to sign any documents.
 
The interrogator accused me of attempting to stab a soldier while reciting “Allahu Akbar” and claimed he had photographic evidence of this. I denied the accusation and asked him to show me the photographs but he never did. He repeated the accusation; this time he raised his voice at me and accused me of lying. I continued to deny the accusation. Then he asked me to sign some documents in Hebrew. When I asked him to explain what was written in the documents he told me not to be afraid of signing. I signed without understanding anything.
 
Then they took my photograph and fingerprints. I was then taken to a room where I sat for about three hours. During this time I was examined by a doctor. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was strip searched. I was then taken to a cell where they removed my handcuffs. I was not given anything to eat.
 
The following day I was taken to the military court at Ofer. My parents were not in court because they did not know I had a hearing. My lawyer was there and my detention was extended and the hearing adjourned.
 
I had four more appearances in the military courts which my parents attended. At the last hearing the military court wanted my father to pay 5,000 shekels for bail but my father told the court he did not have that kind of money. The judge decided to reduce the amount to 3,500 shekels. My father paid the amount on the same day and I was released on bail on 25 September 2017. I arrived home at around 2:00 a.m. but I was very happy to be home especially because I would be able to attend my sister’s wedding.
 
I have attended two more military court hearings since I was released on bail but they were both adjourned and nothing happened. My next hearing will be on 21 February 2018. I have dropped out of school and I now have a job as a painter.