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Testimony: J.A.H.A.


Name:  J.A.H.A.
Age:  16
Date:  22 December 2022
Location:  Beit Iksa, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 22 December 2022, a 16-year-old minor from Beit Iksa was attacked by Israeli settlers from Ramot while tending his goats at around 4:00 p.m. A short time later he was arrested by Israeli police. He reports being informed of his legal rights and being released on bail of NIS 3,000, 7 days later.  

My brother and I were taking care of our goats about 100 meters from our home. It was around 4:00 p.m. Suddenly four settlers from the nearby settlement of Ramot approached and started to harass us. They pushed the goats and scared them and then caught my brother and started to beat him up. When I went to rescue my brother one of the settlers grabbed me and beat me on my back with a stick. I managed to break free and I threw stones at the settlers to scare them away. The settlers then left.
A short while later Israeli police arrived and told my father they wanted to question me about throwing stones at settlers. They did not give my father any documents. Then one of the policemen handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs which were painful. Then he took me to a police car where I sat on a seat. 
I was taken to Al Mascobiyeh police station in West Jerusalem where I was left in a room for more than four hours. I felt dizzy during because I did not have my diabetes medicine with me which I am supposed to take every four hours. After about four hours a policeman removed my handcuffs and shackled me and took for interrogation.
The interrogator was in civilian clothes. Another policeman holding a gun was standing behind me and I was scared of him because I could not see what he was up to. I was feeling vulnerable because I was feeling sick and dizzy.
The interrogator called a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to be scared whatever they ask me. He promised to come and see me within an hour or so. The interrogator was not in the room during the short conversation with the lawyer.
Then the interrogator told me I could remain silent if I wanted to. He then wanted to know what I was doing near the settlement of Ramot. I told him I was not at the settlement but about 100 meters away from our house when the settlers came and attacked me and my brother. He did not believe me and accused me of lying. He then told me he had video footage of me throwing stones at settlers. When I asked him to show me the footage he refused. I continued to deny the accusation. 
After a while I could no longer focus on what he was saying because I was not well at all; I needed my medicine. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and then he wanted me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign.
After about 30 minutes of interrogation I was taken to another room where a doctor examined me. I told him I needed my diabetes medicine. Then a lawyer visited me and asked me about the name of my medicine. Then he called my father and my father gave him the details of my medicine. Within about another hour I was given my medicine and I felt better. Then I was taken to a cell with other boys. 
The following day I had a military court hearing via zoom. My parents were not invited to the zoom link and my detention was extended. 
Two days later I was taken to a court in Jerusalem. The trip took more than six hours and I was not given my medicine. I was dizzy again because my blood sugar went up. I nearly passed out. In all I had four court hearings. 
At my last hearing, which was on the 30 December 2022, the military judge decided to release me on bail because of my health condition. He placed me under house arrest. My father had to pay NIS 3,000 bail and he had to provide a guarantor with an Israeli identity card. My father called a distant relative who lives in Beer Sabe’ in the south of Israel and asked if he could do us this favour. Luckily, he agreed. The judge ordered that person to take me to his house and told him he was not allowed to leave me alone in the house, not even to go to work. That person’s life was turned upside down. He also had to come up with a large amount of bond money in case I violated my bail conditions. 
I spent three weeks at that person’s house. I was not comfortable at all and wanted to go home. During this time, I had two court hearings. That person had to take me to court in Jerusalem and my father had to apply for a permit to attend the hearings too. It was hard for everyone. My lawyer asked that I am allowed to go home and the judge agreed. 
Since that time I have had about 10 court hearing; my next hearing is on the 24 November 2023.  It is hard being under house arrest. I am not allowed to go out and play with my friends or to pray at the mosque. I have not been to school since my arrest and I don’t think I will go back. The judge told me I was not allowed to be near settlers or even lay eyes on them, but that's impossible; the settlement is 200 meters away from our house and settlers pass by and harass us all the time.