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Testimony: Y.M.J.D.


Name: Y.M.J.D.
Age: 15
Date: 8 January 2017
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Weapon possession (pipe bomb)

On 8 January 2017, a 15-year-old youth from Beit Fajjar is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. and accused of possessing a pipe bomb and throwing stones. He is released on bail on 24 January 2017.

I woke up at 2:00 a.m. to the sound of loud banging at our front door. My whole family was terrified. Israeli soldiers then stormed into our home and immediately conducted a search. The soldiers caused a lot of damage. The slit open our couches and destroyed food in the kitchen.
The soldiers remained in our house for about four hours. At one stage they brought a young person from the village who they had arrested and he dug up a short length of pipe that was buried in our garden. The soldiers then told my father that I was under arrest. They did not give my father any written documents and did not tell him the reason for my arrest.
The soldiers then took me outside and tied my hands to the front with a plastic tie which was tight and painful. They also handcuffed me with metal cuffs on top of the plastic tie. My wrists were sore and the more I struggled the tighter the tie became. They also blindfolded me.
I was then taken to a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor.  The commander asked me about weapons and wanted to know where they were hidden. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he slapped me on the face because he did not like my answer.
The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was taken to a room and strip searched. They also took away my telephone and smashed it in front of my eyes. Then they made me sit on the floor from around 6:00 a.m. until around 10:00 a.m.
At around 10:00 a.m. I was taken back to the jeep and driven to another location in Etzion where I was interrogated. The interrogator removed the blindfold and told me his name was Yossi. Before he started to question me he told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer. I told him I did not know any lawyers and asked him to call my father. I spoke to my father and asked him to appoint me a lawyer. Then the interrogator called the lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent and to refuse to sign any documents.
Then the interrogator accused me of making a pipe bomb and throwing stones at soldiers. I told him I had nothing to do with this stuff and that I focused on my schoolwork. He verbally abused me and called me a "lying son of a whore". He interrogated me for about three hours. I denied the accusations and did not confess to anything.
After about three hours I was taken to another interrogator who told me he was an intelligence officer. He accused me of the same accusations and threatened that if I did not confess he was going to interrogate me harshly in the middle of the night. He then named a person from my village and told me I had to confess again him and to say he was planning an attack. He told me the minute I confess against that person he was going to drop all allegations against me. I told him I could not say anything about someone I did not even know let alone know say he was planning an attack. I also told him the piece of pipe that was found in our garden was not mine and that the boy who dug it up was the one responsible for it. 
At the end of the second interrogation the interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and Arabic and asked me to sign it but I refused. When I refused to sign the interrogator became very angry and started to shout and swear at me and told me he was going to lock me up in prison for a long time. I was then photographed and fingerprinted and they took a saliva sample for my DNA. I was then strip searched again and taken to a cell where they removed the tie and the handcuffs.
I remained in the cell until around 4:00 a.m. when soldiers shackled and handcuffed me and took me to a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. The troop carrier drove for about an hour to Ofer prison where I was strip searched for a third time and taken into Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My father and my lawyer were also there and I was allowed to speak to them. The hearing was adjourned.
I had three additional military court hearings. At the last hearing the military judge agreed to release me on bail. I had to pay 1,000 shekels and to deposit a cheque for an additional 30,000 shekels to guarantee my appearance in court.
I was released form Ofer prison on 24 January 2017, at around 1:00 p.m. and I went home with my parents. I had two additional military court hearings after my release but nothing happened and the hearings were adjourned.