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Testimony: Q.R.N.A.


Name: Q.R.N.A.
Age: 15
Date: 24 October 2021
Location: Husan, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/Molotov cocktails

On 24 October 2021, a 15-year-old from Husan 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 reports being held in solitary confinement for 2 days. He was sentenced to 8 months in prison and fined NIS 4,000.

Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 3:00 a.m. We heard loud banging at the door and my father went to open up.  About 10 soldiers entered our house. They searched the house without saying a word. They thoroughly searched my bedroom and damaged the furniture. Then a soldier told me to get ready because I was under arrest. They did not give my parents any documents.
I said goodbye to my family including my younger brothers who were crying. A soldier wanted to tie my hands inside the house but I refused; I did not want my brothers to see. Then they took me outside where a military jeep was waiting. Once outside a soldier tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties on top of each other. They were tight and painful. My hands swelled and the ties left marks on my wrists. 
They took me to the back of the jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. Inside the jeep the soldiers blindfolded me and then started to beat and swear at me. I was taken to a nearby settlement where they took off my jacket and left me out in the cold weather for about four hours. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement. I arrived there at around 8:00 a.m. I waited inside the jeep for about an hour and then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the ties and the blindfold. He had a voice recorder on his desk. He gave me a document in Hebrew to read. He told me it was about my rights and he then translated the document for me. He told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer and the right to remain silent. Then he phoned a lawyer for me. The lawyer told me not to be afraid and that my file was not too serious. He told me he was going to talk to my parents and advised me not to confess. The interrogator was not in the room during the conversation which lasted about two minutes.
The interrogator accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at settler busses and read out confessions by other boys against me. Then he told me I was like a son to him and he did not want me to waste my life in prison. Then he named the boys who had confessed against me. I denied the accusations. Then he threatened to lock me up in administrative detention for a long time if I did not confess. He gave me a number of dates and specific times when the alleged incidents were supposed to have happened. He questioned me for about two-and-a-half hours. 
At first the interrogator was relatively calm but then he changed his attitude. He accused me of lying and threatened to lock me up in prison for four years. I continued to deny the accusation. Then he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. When I asked him for a translation he told me there was no one to translate it for me. I refused to sign.
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was searched in my boxer shorts before being taken to a small cell where I spent two days in solitary confinement. The cell measured about 1.5 x 1 meters and only had a small window in the door which did not let any light in. I did not know day from night and could not sleep well. I thought of my family the whole time. They gave me one meal a day which was a sandwich and it was not enough. On the second day I was taken for another interrogation.
This time I was questioned by an intelligence officer at Ofer. He did not allow me to speak to a lawyer and did not inform me of my right to silence. He started by telling he wanted to repeat the interrogation because I denied the accusations during the first interrogation. Then he told me he hoped I would not repeat the same mistake. He accused me of the same accusations and I continued to deny them. He questioned me for about three hours. He asked me about young men and boys from my village and wanted to know whether I had any relationship with them. Then he wanted to know why I go to friction points where young men throw stones at settlers. He did not ask me to sign any documents.
After the interrogation I was taken to the quarantine section at Ofer where I spent 12 days and before being taken into the minors’ section. 
My first military court hearing was the day after I was arrested. It was on zoom and my parents did not attend because they were not informed. I had 13 court hearings. On 22 May 2022, about a month before I was released, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to eight months in prison and fined NIS 4,000. I was also given another 10 months in prison suspended for three-and-a-half years. My parents also had to give a bond of NIS 6,500 payable if I was arrested during the next three-and-a-half years. I accepted the bargain because otherwise I was told I would spend three years in prison. 
I spent the rest of my time at Ofer. My parents visited me once a month and I called home from a monitored telephone provided by the prison authorities once every 14 days. In prison I helped in the kitchen and was in charge of distributing food to the other prisoners. I also attended classes in Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics but I did not find the classes useful; they were the level of first graders and I was in eleventh grade.
I was released at Al Jib checkpoint on 23 June 2022. My parents were told to wait at Ofer. I called my parents from the telephone of a person who was at Al Jib and they came and picked me up. I arrived home at around 11:00 p.m.