Comparative graph
Fact sheet
About us
Bookmark and Share
  change font size تصغير الخط تكبير الخط print
Home » Children »

Testimony: N.W.O.U.


Name:  N.W.O.U.
Age:  17
Date:  ****
Location:  ****, West Bank
Accusation:  Administrative Detention

On **** 2023, a 17-year-old minor from **** was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 p.m. from work. He reports ill-treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was given a 6-month administrative detention order but was released after 4.5 months in a prisoner swap deal.  

I was at work at a construction site in **** when a group of about 40 Israeli soldiers raided the workshop at around 4:00 p.m. There was an incursion into **** and someone informed on me and told them where I was. I believe 7 out of 10 men are informants who are willing to provide information in return for a pack of cigarettes.
The commander pulled me aside and started to question me without informing me of my rights. He asked me general questions and told me it was better for me if I stayed home and not worked. The questioning lasted for about 30 minutes and then I was taken to the back of a military jeep where I sat on a seat. A soldier kicked and slapped me as he pushed me into the jeep. Then he handcuffed my hands behind my back and shackled my feet. The handcuffs were tight and painful and left marks on my wrists. I was not blindfolded.
I was taken to **** prison, inside Israel. I arrived there at around 9:00 p.m. I was searched over my clothes and then I was taken to a small cell. I spent one night there and then I was taken to **** prison, also in Israel. I was searched over my clothes again before being taken to the minors’ section.
Two days later I was taken to **** for interrogation. I was questioned by a female interrogator who had three men in the interrogation room on standby ready for anything. She did not call a lawyer for me and did not inform me of my right to silence. She asked me about people in **** and **** and about stone throwing incidents. She did not present me with any evidence. She questioned me for about an hour and at the end she asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew which I signed thinking I had no choice but to sign.
My first military court hearing was on the same day as the interrogation. My parents were not informed and that is why they did not attend. The military judge extended my detention by a week. I had four more military court hearings over the course of about two weeks. 
At the last military court hearing, which was on **** 2023, I was given a six-month administrative detention order. I was devastated, especially when I saw my mother cry in court; I felt sorry for her. Administrative detention is so unjust because you are not told what you are accused of and you cannot defend yourself. The time I had already spent in prison did not count, so I was going to be released on **** 2024, assuming I was not given another administrative detention order. 
After the events of 7 October 2023, conditions in prison deteriorated. We were cut off from the outside world. I did not have any contact with my own family because the prison authorities suspended family visits and did not allow us to phone home. No lawyers were allowed to visit. Food was barely enough and the quality was terrible. On **** 2023, I was transferred to **** prison, inside Israel, as punishment. 
Luckily, I was released in the prisoners’ exchange deal with Hamas. On the day when I was released a guard took me aside and told me I was going to be released, I could not believe it. 
I was released on **** 2023, about one-and-a-half months sooner than I had expected. An Israeli intelligence officer spoke to me before my release and warned me not to harm Israel’s security. He said if I did not behave myself he was going to re-arrest me. My father and uncles and some friends met me in **** and then took me home. I arrived home at around 6:00 a.m. the following day. I was tired but very happy to be home.
* Some information in this testimony has been concealed as some minors report being threatened if they speak publicly about their experience in prison following their release as part of the prisoner swap deal post 7 October 2023.