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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.A.R.

 Name:  M.A.R.
 Age:  17 
 Date of incident:  29 April 2015
 Location:  Beit Ummar, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing Molotov cocktails

On 29 April 2015, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3.00 a.m. He reports ill treatment. He reports being informed of his right to silence but not consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation. He reports being released on NIS 1,500 bail nearly 2 weeks after his arrest.

I was arrested from home at around 3.00 a.m. I was awake working on my computer when I heard the sound of banging at our front door. My father was travelling so my mother answered the door. More than 10 Israeli soldiers entered our home.
One of the soldiers asked my mother for me and asked her to bring my identity card. Then they told me to get dressed because they were going to arrest me. They gave my mother a document saying they were going to interrogate me at the police station in Etzion settlement about throwing stones. The soldiers asked my mother to sign the document and then took it from her.
I was then taken outside where I was tied to the front with one plastic tie. The tie was painful. The soldiers walked me for about 30 minutes towards the main road. The soldiers slapped me and beat me on the way. When we arrives at the main road I was taken to the back of a troop carrier and made to sit on the floor. The vehicle drove for about 15 minutes before we arrived at the police station inside Etzion settlement. It was around 4.00 a.m.
At Etzion I was taken to a room where I was blindfolded. There were female soldiers in the room and they made me sit on the floor. I couldn’t sleep because the soldiers were dancing and singing loudly. They turned the TV on and each time I tried to fall asleep a female soldier would scream in my ears to wake me up.
I remained in the room until around 7.30 a.m. when I was taken to see a doctor. The doctor asked me if I suffered from any illnesses and gave me a form to fill out. I was then taken to a courtyard where I sat in the sun for about one-and-a-half hours. An interrogator then took me to an interrogation room.
Before he started to interrogate me he removed the tie and the blindfold and gave me a document saying I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. I read the document and I understood what it said. I did not speak to a lawyer. The interrogator then told me I had to tell him everything. I told him I wasn’t going to say anything until I am allowed to speak to my mother. The interrogator became angry and banged my head against the wall. Still, I continued to insist on not talking until I was allowed to speak to my mother. He then called my mother and asked her to appoint a lawyer for me. He told her I was at Etzion and he allowed me to speak to her.
He then accused me of throwing Molotov cocktails at settlers and at the military watchtower at the entrance to our village. I denied the accusations and told him this was not true. Then he showed me a photograph and told me it was a photograph of me. I denied it. The interrogation lasted for about an hour. At the end I was taken outside the room where I waited for about 30 minutes and then another interrogation took me for a second round of interrogation.
The second interrogator wore a police uniform. He accused me of the same accusations. I felt the purpose of the second interrogation was to write my statement down. There was a camera and a tape recorder in the room. The policeman told me I had the right to remain silence and the right to consult with a lawyer. He accused me of throwing Molotov cocktail at soldiers and settlers. I denied the accusation and told him I never threw anything at anyone and that I focused on my school work.
The interrogator got angry and started to swear at me and called "a fucker son of a whore". He then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. I asked him to translate it for me but he refused. The interrogator did not allow me to use the bathroom or to drink water. He did not give me any food. The second round lasted for about an hour. I was then photographed and fingerprinted. The interrogator blindfolded me and tied my hand again and took me to a courtyard where I remained for about an hour.
Soldiers then took me to a cell at Etzion after strip searching me. They removed the tie and the blindfold and I remained in the cell until around 4.00 p.m. I was then handcuffed and shackled and taken to a vehicle where I sat on a seat in the back. The vehicle drove for about an hour before it arrived at Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. At Ofer I was strip searched again and taken to the juvenile section.
On 3 May 2015, I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not there but a lawyer was there to defend me. The hearing was adjourned. My father appointed me another lawyer. The second lawyer was able to convince the court to release me on bail until a charge sheet was presented. My parents had to pay NIS 1,500 for the bail. The judge told my father I had to come to the military court if they was a need and I am called.
I was released from Ofer prison on 10 May 2015, at around 9.00 p.m. I arrived home with my parents at around 11.00 p.m.