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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.N.M.Z.

 

Name:  M.N.M.Z.
Age:  17
Date:  27 March 2018
Location:  Al Arrub, West Bank
Accusation:  Weapon possession

On 27 March 2018, Israeli soldiers raid the home of a 17-year-old youth from Al Arrub refugee camp at 2:00 a.m. He is not home and his father is told to bring him to a nearby police station by 1:00 p.m. or he would be shot.

Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 2:00 a.m. About 30 soldiers entered our house looking for me. My parents told the commander I was staying at a friend’s house. The commander told my father he had to bring me to the police station immediately. 
 
In the morning my father received a phone call from the police station saying if I did not show up at the police station by 1:00 p.m. I was going to be shot dead. My father and I went to the police station as instructed. The commander was on the phone with my father the whole time and gave him directions where to go. We waited about 4 hours before I was taken for interrogation. My father was told to go home.
 
As soon as I entered the room the interrogator handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs and shackled my feet. Then he told me although I had the right to remain silent I had to answer him with yes or know. Then he told me he was not going to interrogate me because he had all the evidence he needed to convict me. He claimed there were confessions against me by other boys about weapons possession.  He then asked me about other boys in the camp and threatened if I did not cooperate with him he was going to sexually assault my father. Then he asked me to stand up and told me to put everything aside, god, the profits, religion...etc. and to just focus on him and me.
 
The interrogator accused me of plotting to shoot and to trade in weapons. I denied the accusation. He also accused me of throwing stones at soldiers on multiple occasions and I denied this accusation too. He questioned me for about an hour. He did not allow me to speak to a lawyer before interrogating me. 
 
After about an hour the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign anything in Hebrew. Then he called my father and allowed me to speak to him. I told my father I was being interrogated. Then the interrogator called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess and that he would see me in court. The conversation lasted for less than a minute. The interrogator was in the room when I spoke to the lawyer. He then wanted to know what the lawyer had told me. I told the interrogator I wanted my parents to be present in the interrogation but he laughed at my request.
 
Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched before being taken to section 13. 
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. I was denied bail and the hearing was adjourned. 
 
I had about 7 miliary court hearings. At the last hearing, which was on the 26November 2018, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 8 months in prison and fined 2,000 shekels. I also received a suspended sentence of 2 years in prison valid for 7 years. I accepted the plea bargain because I would be released on the same day if I accepted the deal.
 
I was released later that night and I arrived home at around 1:00 a.m. I spent the whole time at Ofer where I attended classes but I later stopped. My parents visited me in prison several times.