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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.M.M.

 Name:  M.M.M.
 Age:  15
 Date of incident:  18 May 2015
 Location:  Al Arrub, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones/Molotovs

On 18 May 2015, a 15-year-old minor from Al 'Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2.00 a.m. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being released without charge 20 hours after his arrest. 

I was asleep when my mother walked into my bedroom with five Israeli soldiers. It was 2.00 a.m. The soldiers told me to accompany them to the living room. They told my father they were going to arrest me and interrogate me because I was accused of throwing stones. They gave my father a document which said they were going to take me to the police station in the settlement of Etzion.
The soldiers wanted to drag me out of the house without allowing me to get dressed properly. My father insisted that I put my clothes and shoes on. I asked the soldiers if I could use the bathroom but they said no. The soldiers took me outside where they blindfolded me and tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie. The tie was very painful and caused my hands to swell.
The soldiers walked me towards the entrance to the camp where a troop carrier and military jeeps were waiting. I was taken in the back of a jeep where I was made to sit on the floor. Later on I was allowed to sit on a seat. A soldier then pointed his gun to my head and told me if I moved he was going to shoot me. The jeep drove for about an hour before stopping at the police station inside Etzion settlement. I think the jeep went to Bethlehem and Al-Khader before arriving at Etzion.
At Etzion I was put in a shipping container and sat on the floor for about 30 minutes. I was still tied and blindfolded. Some soldiers walked in and started to beat me and the other detainees who were in the container. I was then taken outdoors where I sat from around 4.00 a.m. until 7.00 a.m. I was then taken to the area where the interrogation rooms are. I waited outside until around 2.00 p.m. I was tied and blindfolded the whole time. I wasn’t given any food or drink and I wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom. I was in severe discomfort and distress.
At around 2.00 p.m. an interrogator took me to a room. I begged him to allow me to use the bathroom and he finally agreed. He removed the blindfold but kept the tie on and he also kept the bathroom door open. The interrogator wore civilian clothes and he had a gun. He made sure I could see the gun I think to intimidate me. He told me his name was "Shimon". He started by saying that Israel is a powerful country and could kill anyone it wanted and could even capture people from Syria if it wanted. He then told me I had 10 minutes to think and confess to throwing stones at soldiers.
The interrogator did not inform me that I had any rights. He told me I had to tell him all the details of what I did on 4 February 2015. He told me that I had to be frank and pour my heart out to him. He offered me coffee and a cigarette but I refused. After 10 minutes he accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers. I told him this was not true. Then he started to name some boys and claimed they had joined me in throwing stones. I told him I did not know any of them. He then asked me to confess against them but I told him there was nothing for me to confess about. I asked him to provide me with some evidence that I had been throwing stones but he never did. He then got very angry and threatened to beat me if I didn’t confess.
The interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes. At the end I was taken out of the interrogation room for about an hour before I was interrogated for a second time I was blindfolded while I was out in the sun. An hour later another interrogator took me for a second round of interrogation.
The second interrogator told me his name was "Moshe" and he accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers.   During the interrogation I noticed a document on the interrogator’s desk written in Arabic with my name and identity card number on it. There was also a sentence about my right to remain silent. The interrogator did not show me the document or ask me to read it; I just noticed it on my own.
The interrogator then asked me for my father’s number and allowed me to talk to him. I told my father the interrogator was accusing me of throwing Molotov cocktails. My father told me that the document they gave him at home when I was arrested did not refer to me but another boy. It referred to someone else’s ID number who has a similar name. I told this to the interrogator hoping he would realise I was arrested by mistake but hetold me it did not matter because my details in front of him were correct.
The interrogator then accused me again of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers. I denied the accusation. He then printed out a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. I told him I wasn’t going to sign anything in Hebrew because I don’t understand Hebrew. I then told the interrogator I wanted to speak to a lawyer. He told me if it is true that I didn’t do anything wrong why did I want to see a lawyer. He told me only those who commit crimes ask to see lawyers. He suddenly became angry and slapped me on the face. Another soldier entered the room and started to slap me too.
The second interrogation lasted for about an hour. I was taken out for 30 minutes before I was taken back in for a third time. This time another boy was in the room. The boy looked happy and the interrogator told me it was because he was going to be released. The interrogator took me outside and made me sit on a bench. I was still tied.
I remained on the bench until around 6.00 p.m. when the interrogator told me I was going to be transferred to Ofer prison. I was taken to the back of a jeep and driven a short distance. The interrogator then told me I was going to be released. He removed the tie and told me to go. I started to walk home with the other boy who was released with me. The two of us walked for about a kilometer before I saw my father who had come to pick me up in a car.