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Testimony: M.N.I.B.


Name: M.N.I.B.
Age: 14
Date: 26 November 2018
Location: Al Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing Molotov cocktail

On 26 November 2018, a 14-year-old boy from Al Arrub refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. He reports not being informed of his right to silence or his right to consult with a lawyer prior to interrogation. 

I woke up at around 2:30 a.m. to the sound of loud banging at our front door. My mother answered the door and about 15 Israeli soldiers entered our home. More soldiers waited outside. 
My older brother asked the soldiers what they wanted and the commander asked to see his identity card. Then the commander spotted me and asked me for my name. Soldiers started to speak to each other in Hebrew and then the commander told me I was under arrest and told me to get dressed. 
The commander gave my uncle a document and asked him to sign it and he did. The commander did not tell me why he wanted to arrest me but in the document it said they wanted to question me about stone throwing.
I was then taken outside where a soldier tied my hands behind my back with 4 plastic ties on top of each other. They were tight and painful and I complained to the commander but he told me to shut up. Then they blindfolded me and led me down the hill towards the cemetery. On the way the soldiers swore at me and called my mother and sisters “whores”. 
When we arrived at the cemetery I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep then drove to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. On the way a soldier kicked and punched me all over my body. 
At Kiryat Arba I was taken to a room where I waited until around 1:00 p.m. I was left without any food or drink. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement. At Etzion I waited in a room for about 10 minutes and then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator had a voice recorder on his desk. He removed the ties and the blindfold and asked me whether I wanted to be “straightforward or crooked” with him. I told him I was going to be straightforward. Without informing me of my rights he accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a settlers’ bus. He said it was me and “the other gangsters”. I denied the accusation. He repeated the accusation again and again and insisted I had to confess. He thumped the table and was very aggressive.  Then he called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The interrogator remained in the room while I spoke to the lawyer.
The lawyer asked me whether it was my first arrest and told me not to worry. He also told me that I had the right to remain silent and then he hung up. The conversation lasted for about 1 minute. Then the interrogator repeated the accusation. At first I denied the accusation again but then I realised if I did not confess I would be sitting in that room in front of the interrogator for a long time. After about 30 minutes I confessed to throwing 2 stones at a settlers’ bus. I just wanted to get it over with. 
Then the interrogator showed me documents written in Hebrew and asked me to sign them. I told him I did not read or write any Hebrew but still he insisted I had to sign and I did. Then he tied my hands again and I was taken into a cell where the ties were removed and I was strip searched. I was given some food and I stayed in the cell until around 11:00 p.m. I did not sleep. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again before being taken to section 19.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not there because they were not notified about the hearing and my case was adjourned. I had about 6 or 7 military court hearings. I did not understand what went on during the hearings because everything was in Hebrew without enough translation into Arabic. 
At the last hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 1 month in prison and fined 2,000 shekels.  I also received a suspended sentence of 3 months in prison suspended for 5 years. I accepted the plea bargain without understanding the reason or the implications.
I was released on the 12 December 2018, 16 days after I was sentenced. On the day when I was released my family split up and went to all the possible checkpoints where I might be released. I went home with my brothers and uncle. I arrived home at around 1:30 a.m. It was a cold and rainy night.