| 13 March 2023
| Aida Camp, West Bank
| Throwing Molotov cocktails / pipe bombs
On 13 March 2023, a 16-year-old minor from Aida Camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:00 a.m. He reports ill treatment. He reports being informed of his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 5 months in prison and fined NIS 3,000. He also received a suspended sentence.
My parents woke me up at around 3:00 a.m. and told me to get up because Israeli soldiers were in our house. I got up confused and saw about 20 soldiers in our home with more outside. Two of the soldiers were wearing masks.
One of the soldiers asked to see my identity card and then he made a phone call. He then told me I had to go with them. When I asked why he told me I would find out during the interrogation. They did not give my parents any documents.
The soldiers did not search our house but they did take some pictures and stepped over my younger siblings (5 and 7 years) waking them up. They also took a video of my parents and then, within less than 10 minutes, they blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties on top of each other. They were tight and painful and when I asked the soldier to remove them he refused.
Outside the house a soldier slapped me in front of my mother because he wanted my cell phone. My mother hugged me and said goodbye. Then I was led on foot to an area near Rachel’s Tomb behind the Wall, not far from our house. When we got there a military doctor removed my blindfold and ties and asked me if I had been beaten. When I said "yes" he asked me to sign a document written in Arabic. I read it and then I signed it because it said I was beaten.
Then I was re-blindfolded and handcuffed with metal handcuffs behind my back. The handcuffs were also tight and painful. Then they took me to the back of a military jeep where I sat on a seat and I was taken to Atarot police station, in East Jerusalem. On the way soldiers verbally abused me calling me "a son of a whore".
At Atarot I was left in an outdoor cage until around 6:00 p.m. During this time, they brought me unappetizing food which I could not eat. Then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed my handcuffs and blindfold. He was wearing civilian clothes. He had a camera in the room and told me he was going to record everything. Then he called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to take care of myself and not to confess and if I am asked any questions I should answer with no. I stood away from the interrogator and he did not hear what the lawyer was telling me. We spoke for about two minutes.
Then the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent but warned if I remained silent it was possible I would be convicted. Then he accused me of throwing pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails. I denied the accusation. He told me other boys had confessed against me. He thumped the table and shouted at me. He questioned me for about two hours and the whole time he was trying to get me to confess. At the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. I signed without understanding because I thought I had to sign. I later found out he made me sign on a false confession.
After the interrogation I was taken back to the cage where I remained until around midnight. Then I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched before being taken to section 13. The following day I had a military court hearing. My parents were there and my detention was extended.
In all I had about 20 court hearings. At the last one, which was about a month before my release, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to five months in prison and fined NIS 3,000. I was also given more time in prison suspended for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because it was better than what the prosecutor was asking for.
I spent the whole time at Ofer where I walked in the courtyard and lifted weights. I also worked in the kitchen and helped clean the cell. I attended classes in Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics, but they were useless because they were for beginners. My parents visited me twice. I also called my parents twice a month from a telephone provided by the prison authorities.
I was released from Ofer on 12 June 2023, and I went home with my parents. I arrived home in the evening.