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Testimony: W.J.F.T.


Name: W.J.F.T.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 18 April 2016
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Setting fire
On 18 April 2016, a 15-year-old youth from Beit Fajjar is arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes and accused of setting tyres on fire. He is sentenced to one month in prison.
I was at the entrance to my village at around 6:00 p.m. when there were clashes and stone throwing incidents with Israeli soldiers at the time. One of the soldiers chased me and some other boys and he caught me and another boy.
As soon as I was detained the soldier told me I was accused of shooting at them and pointed at a metal pipe on the side of the road. I denied the accusation and told him I had nothing to do with this and I had no idea what he was talking about.
Then soldiers tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. The ties were very tight and I felt pain in my wrists for a number of days. Then they made me kneel on the ground for about an hour until a jeep arrived and an Israeli policeman picked up the pipe and put it in a bag.
I was taken to the back of the jeep and I sat on a seat next to the soldiers. I was also blindfolded inside the jeep. The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to the police station inside Etzion settlement where I was immediately taken for interrogation. It was around 7:30 p.m.
The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept my hands tied. He immediately accused me of throwing a pipe bomb at the soldiers without informing me of my rights. He then accused me of setting fire to tires on the road. In the beginning I denied all the accusations. He showed me some pictures and asked me to identify the people in the pictures. He asked me whether I saw these people throwing stones at soldiers. I told him I didn’t.
Then he started to beat me and brought in a soldier who stood behind me and started to beat me too. The interrogator swore at me saying I was a son of a whore and yelled and shouted in a loud voice and I was scared so I confessed to setting fire to tires on the road.
The interrogation lasted for about an hour. Then I was taken to see another interrogator who was in police uniform. He asked me the same questions and then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I signed it without understanding what it said. Then he called my parents and told them I was at Etzion and that I was going to appear in a military court soon. He threatened my father and told him they were going to demolish our house.
Then he took my photograph and my fingerprints and took me to see a doctor who examined me. After the examination I was taken to the back of a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. The carrier drove for about an hour to Ofer prison. The troop carrier then turned around and drove back to Etzion where I was taken to a room where I sat on the floor for about five hours. Soldiers who went by slapped me lightly. About five hours later I was taken back to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and taken into Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend because they were not informed but a lawyer was there. The hearing was adjourned. I had five more hearings in the military court. On the last hearing I was sentenced to one month in prison and fined NIS 1,500.
I was released from prison about two week earlu on 5 May 2016. I was released from prison at around 6:00 p.m. and I went home by myself.