|Date:||24 February 2020|
|Location:||Al 'Arrub camp, West Bank|
|Accusation:||Throwing stones / Molotov cocktails|
On 24 February 2020, a 15-year-old minor from Al 'Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 4:00 a.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 1 month in prison and fined NIS 1,500. He also received a suspended sentence.
One day before my arrest “Captain Karam”, the Israeli military commander in charge of our refugee camp, phoned my father in the afternoon and gave him a warning about me. He told my father I was involved “in stuff” and if my father did not control me he was going to shoot me.
The following morning, at around 4:00 a.m., I woke up to the sound of banging and explosions. My father opened our front door and about 10 soldiers entered our home. I was still in bed when soldiers entered my bedroom.
The soldiers searched our home and broke some furniture. Then a soldier took me aside and tied my hands to the back with a single plastic tie which was very tight and painful. Then he took me outside where he blindfolded me and told me I was under arrest. They did not tell me why or give my us any documents. I was dragged outside my home in my underwear without time to put my clothes on.
Once outside I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on the metal floor. The soldiers inside the jeep slapped and kicked me as well as swearing at me. The jeep drove to the police station in the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim where I was immediately taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept me tied. He told me any wrong move by me and he would send me immediately to the hospital. He accused me of throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and explosives at soldiers on Route 60 in 2019 and 2020. I denied the accusation. He questioned me without informing me of my rights and I did not speak to a lawyer.
The interrogation lasted for a long time; it went on and off over a period of about 12 hours. The interrogator slapped me once and swore at me each time I denied the accusation. He told me soldiers had testified against me but I continued to deny all the accusations. At the end of the interrogation he did not give me any documents to sign.
After the interrogation I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement. I was strip searched and then taken to a cell where I spent two nights with two other detainees. Then I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched again before being taken to section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not informed about the hearing and so did not attend. The hearing was adjourned and I was taken back to prison. I had six military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to one month in prison, fined NIS 1,500 shekels and given a suspended sentence of six months in prison valid for two years. I accepted the plea bargain because I had already spent one month in prison and so could go home after the final court hearing.
I went home later that day after my uncle paid the fine. I arrived home at around 2:00 a.m.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.