|7 March 2022
|Al Khader, West Bank
On 7 March 2022, a 17-year-old minor from Al Khader was arrested at Etzion interrogation centre after his brother was taken as a hostage by Israeli soldiers. He reports being denied his basic legal rights under Israeii military law. He was sentenced to 3 months in prison and fined NIS 1,000. He also received a suspended sentence.
Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 3:00 a.m. I was not at home at the time. Instead, the soldiers took my older brother and told him they were not going to release him until I turned myself in. In the morning, at around 9:00 a.m. we went to the police station in Etzion settlement to hand myself in. I went with my father, my brother, my sister and my uncle. We waited by the gate until around 12:30 p.m. and then a soldier took me inside, released my older brother and sent my family home.
Inside the police station I was cuffed to the front with metal handcuffs. The handcuffs were painful. Then I was taken to an interrogation room.
The interrogator asked me whether I needed a lawyer. I asked him why he thought I needed a lawyer and he explained to me. Then I told him I did not need a lawyer because I had not done anything wrong. I thought if I accepted a lawyer this would incriminate me.
The interrogator was in civilian clothes and had a voice recorder on his desk. Without informing me of my right to silence he told me he had information I took part in clashes with soldiers together with other boys and that I threw a Molotov cocktail. When I denied the accusation, he told me he had photographic evidence against me. I continued to deny the accusation. Then he threatened to sentence me for a year in prison if I did not confess.
Later the interrogator told me my friends had confessed against me. He urged me to confess and made me feel I had no choice. Then I confessed to throwing two stones from a distance of 300 meters. After confessing the interrogator asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew and I signed without understanding anything.
After the interrogation I was taken to a cell together with other boys where I spent 11 days. On the sixth day I was taken for another interrogation. The interrogator phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to speak and not to confess. The interrogator was listening to the conversation which lasted about two minutes. I did not feel comfortable telling the lawyer everything.
The interrogator was in civilian clothes. He did not inform me of my right to remain silent. He was aggressive and asked me whether I frequently went to the mosque to pray. He accused me of throwing stones and wanted to know the distance from which I had thrown the stones. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and wanted me to give information about other boys. I denied the accusation and did not give information about anyone. At the end he made me sign a document written in Hebrew which I did not understand.
On the third day I had a military court hearing which my parents did not attend because they were not informed. My detention was extended. After spending 11 days at Etzion police station I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched before being taken to section 13.
I had another military court hearing in which I was sentenced in a plea bargain to three months in prison and fined NIS 1,000. I was also given another three months in prison suspended for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because otherwise I was told I would spend 14 months in prison.
In prison I exercised and took drawing and Hebrew lessons. I only had one family visit because I told my parents not to visit to save them the hassle and also because I was going to be released within 10 days of the second visit.
I was released at Al-Jib checkpoint on 23 May 2022, but my parents were told to wait by Ofer gate. They waited a long time and then got fed up and went home. I took a taxi and went home by myself. I arrived home at around 2:00 a.m. My parents were happy to see me home.