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Home » Parents »

Testimony: Sadiya H.


Name: Sadiya H.
Age: 52
Date: 22 February 2022
Location: Dheisheh camp, West Bank
Event: Night raid / child arrest

On 24 February 2022, Israeli soldiers broke into a home in Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem, at 3:45 a.m. and arrested a 16-year-old boy. After searching the house the soldiers left without providing any information. 

I woke up suddenly at around 3:45 a.m. when I heard a commotion inside my home. I looked around me and saw my son. He told me he had heard footsteps outside and thought there may be Israeli soldiers around.  Suddenly I heard the glass on the front door break. Our front door was broken open and about 15 masked soldiers entered our home. When we checked our CCTV camera later it showed about 30 military jeeps and two service dogs around our house. 
One of the soldiers put the back of his gun against my chest and told me not to cause any trouble. He pushed me back into my bedroom and on the bed. Another soldier grabbed my 16-year-old son, Yazan, and pushed him against the wall. When I saw this I came out of the bedroom and told my son not to be afraid and he told me not to worry.
Then a soldier pulled out metal handcuffs and handcuffed Yazan’s hands behind his back. Then one of the soldiers pushed me out. He grabbed me by my robe and pushed me into another room. I told the soldier I wanted to say goodbye to my son but he did not allow me.
Then the soldiers searched our house without telling us what they were looking for. They threw our clothes on the floor and stepped on them. Then within about 10 minutes they left in a rush and took Yazan with them. I could see that they had blindfolded Yazan. They did not give us any documents and did not say whythey were arresting Yazan or where they were taking him. As they left the soldiers fired a smoke grenade and then a number of tear gas grenades into our home. I felt I was suffocating. 
This is not the first time that my home has been raided by Israeli soldiers. I cannot remember how many times. I remember once they came to search our house and did not make any arrests. Another time they told us they had made a mistake and had come to the wrong house; another time they came to arrest my older son. I never get used to night raids; they are always scary no matter how many times I experience them and they leave me sick for days. 
It took us three days to find out where Yazan was being held. He was later sentenced to one year in prison by a military court. Then, in June of this year he was arrested again and now he is serving a four-month administrative detention order - detention without charge or trial. His lawyer told me his administrative detention order could be extended again and again. This time they did not present a charge sheet, and not even his lawyer knows what he is accused of. He won't get a trial.
I strongly believe my son is innocent but informants in the camp have falsely informed on him. I find having to deal with informants worse than dealing with life under occupation. I don’t expect much from Israeli soldiers but I feel betrayed by my own people. I find this too hard to accept.