|14 May 2021
|Beit Ur Tahta, West Bank
|Throwing stones/Molotov cocktails
On 14 May 2021, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Ur Tahta was arrested by Israeli soldiers at a flying check point at 10:00 p.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being sentenced to 8 months in prison as well as receiving a suspended sentence.
I was in a car when Israeli soldiers at a flying checkpoint stopped the car and told me to step out. It was around 10:00 p.m. A soldier immediately tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were tight and painful. I asked a solider to loosen the ties but he refused. I remained tied for about 24 hours. I was also blindfolded and left on the side of the road for about half an hour.
After 20 minutes a military jeep came by and picked me up. I was allowed to sit on a seat in the back of the jeep which took me to a place I did not recognize. On the way the commander told me I was in safe hands and that I should not worry. I was left there until around 7:00 a.m. During this time, they refused to give me some water when I asked. They also refused to allow me to use the toilet.
At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken in a troop carrier to the police station in the nearby settlement of Modiin Illit. At the police station I was forced to crouch on the ground for some time and then they made me sit on a metal chair while a soldier stood on my right side and another one on my left. At around 8:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator wore an Israeli police uniform and had a camera and a voice recorder in the room. He did not allow me to speak to a lawyer and did not inform me of my right to remain silent. He accused me of throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail on Route 443. I denied the accusation. He was aggressive and spoke to me in a loud voice. He threatened to beat me up if I did not confess and to arrest my mother and father. He also threatened to lock me up in administrative detention without charge or trial for a long time.
He questioned me for about an hour and when he threatened to arrest my mother and father I confessed to throwing three stones which missed and a Molotov cocktail which also missed. When I confessed he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign.
Then I was taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel, where I was strip searched and then I was taken to the quarantine section where I spend 14 days. I was there with two other boys.
My first military court hearing was on the second day after my arrest. My parents were not informed and they did not attend the video link. I had about 13 military court hearings. At the last one, which was about a month before I was released, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to eight months in prison and given a suspended sentence valid for three years. I did not pay any fines. I accepted the plea bargain because I was eager to go home in a month, and I was told that rejecting the plea bargain would mean more time in prison.
I was released at Salem checkpoint on 17 November 2021, and I took a taxi to my sister’s wedding. I did not tell anyone I was going to be released and everyone was very happy to see me show up at the wedding; I wanted it to be a surprise and it worked.
During my time in prison I was transferred to Damoun prison where conditions were harsh as a punishment. In prison I cooked for the other prisoners and I exercised and attended classes in Hebrew and Mathematics. I got full marks in Mathematics and 98/100 in Arabic. My parents received one permit to visit me but the visit was cancelled because it was supposed to be one day before I was released. I left school when I was in eighth grade and I now work as a painter.
I believe I was arrested because someone from my village told the authorities I threw stones and a Molotov cocktail and also told them I was in the car I was in when I was arrested. There are lots on informants in my village, no one is trust worthy.