|10 January 2022
|Beit Fajjar, West Bank
|Throwing Molotov cocktails
On 10 January 2022, a 15-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:00 a.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 2 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence.
My father woke me up at around 3:00 a.m. to tell me that Israeli soldiers were in our house asking for me. I got up and went to the living room where I saw three soldiers. One of them told me they wanted to take me for five minutes and would bring me back. Then he gave my father a document filled out in Hebrew with details about my arrest. Then he took a photo of my father holding the document.
Then they took me outside where I was blindfolded and my hands were tied to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not too tight but when I moved my wrists they got tighter. Then I was taken to the back of a military jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep took me to the police station in Etzion settlement. On the way soldiers pushed me around.
At Etzion I was given a quick medical examination. The doctor asked me to sign a document and when I refused a soldier slapped me. Then they replaced the hand ties with metal handcuffs and took me to a cell where I spent a whole day. At around 10:00 a.m. the following day I was taken for interrogation.
A soldier removed the blindfold and took me to the interrogation room where the interrogator removed the handcuffs. There was a camera in the room. He passed me a cigarette and asked me if I wanted some coffee. He did not call a lawyer for me but he called my father and asked him to bring the car I used during an incident.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator told me I knew the people who hunted gazelles in the hills and he wanted me to give him their name. Then he accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail out of a car I was in and then showed me video footage which showed the car. I denied the accusation.
Then my father arrived and he was allowed into the interrogation room. The interrogator told my father we were a good family without any security records. Then he asked my father for an explanation for my behaviour and my father told him I was psychologically frustrated. Then he told my father to leave.
Then the interrogator told me he was going to keep me there for as long as it took for me to confess. He questioned me for about one hour and fifteen minutes and I continued to deny the accusation. At the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign.
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I spent 13 days isolating with other boys. They wanted to strip search me but I refused and they searched me in my boxer shorts. The following day I had my first military court hearing on Zoom. My parents did not attend because they were not informed and my detention was extended.
On the eighth day I was taken for another interrogation. The interrogator did not inform me of my rights and did not ask me any questions about the incident. Instead, he asked me if I wanted to cooperate with them after my release. He told me he would help me and my life conditions would improve if I agreed to work with him. I refused the offer and told him I had a job at the quarry and I did not need any help from anyone. The conversation lasted for about 15 minutes.
I had seven military court hearings and at the last one, which was 13 days before I was released, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to two months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of eight months suspended for five years. My lawyer encouraged me to accept the plea bargain and told me it was good and so I did because I wanted to go home.
I spent the rest of my sentence at Ofer. In prison I slept a lot and exercised. I did not have any family visits because the permit to visit was not issued in time. I did not have any phone calls. I was released at Al Jib checkpoint on 23 February 2022, and I went home with my family. I arrived home at around midnight. My father is keeping a close eye on me, he wants me to work to help the family financially.