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Home » Children »

Testimony: H.A.U.L.


Name:  H.A.U.L.
Age:  16
Date:  28 May 2023
Location:  Al Mughayer, West Bank
Accusation:  Planting explosives

On 28 May 2023, a 16-year-old minor from Al Mughayer was driving with friends when he was shot by Israeli soldiers at 8:30 p.m. He reports further ill-treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. After leaving hospital he was sentenced in a plea bargain to a fine of NIS 2,000 and a suspended sentence.  

I was with two of my friends at around 8:30 p.m. when the car we were in got a flat tire. I got out of the car to fix it when all of a sudden a group of about 30 Israeli soldiers ambushed us. They fired their guns in my direction. I was seriously injured in the leg and I fell to the ground and could not move. One of my friends, who was still in the car, was shot too. My third friend, who was the driver, was not shot and he drove away with a flat tire. 
I was left on the ground, bleeding heavily. The soldiers shot me again, I think they wanted me dead. They shot me from about two meters away and they could see I was incapacitated, but still alive. They could have easily arrested me if they wanted to. I was hit with three bullets in the thigh and one in my right shoulder. 
One of the soldiers kicked me in my wounded leg to see if I was still alive. I screamed in pain. Then he pulled me over the gravel from the other leg and dragged me about two meters away. Then he took a photo of me and showed it to the commander on his telephone. Then the soldiers hugged each other in celebration and fired a stun grenade. They swore at me and calling me "a son of a whore". Then they took off my clothes and left me completely naked, bleeding heavily. 
Then a military ambulance arrived and took me away. I passed out because I lost a lot of blood. I was shot on Sunday and I remained unconscious until Tuesday. I regained consciousness and found myself at a hospital, handcuffed and shackled to the bed by my other leg. It was 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday when I woke up.
I was told I had three surgeries on my leg and shoulder. I was in pain. A soldier interrogated me while in bed. He asked me why I wanted to kill Jews and what I was doing in the area where I was arrested. When I told him what happened he did not believe me and accused me of lying. He questioned me without informing me of my rights. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and threatened to arrest my parents and my brother if I did not confess. I told him I was changing the flat tire and did not do anything wrong. 
Then I told him I was in pain and could not talk anymore. He told me I had to answer his questions and he did not care if I was in pain or not. Then he asked me to sign a document in Hebrew but I refused to sign because I did not understand what was written in it. I asked for a translation but he never gave me a translation.
The following day I had a military court hearing via a telephone on zoom. I saw my mother on the screen for 30 seconds. She was in tears when she saw me. She later told me they had no idea where I was or what had happened to me and they announced that I was dead in the village. She knew I was alive on Wednesday when she was told I had a court hearing.
A few days later I was taken to Ramleh prison, inside Israel, where they have a hospital for injured and sick prisoners. Five days later I had another military court hearing, also on zoom. The hearing was adjourned for two days. 
For my last hearing, I was taken to the military court on a wheel chair. My mother was there and she smiled when she saw me. I wanted to talk to her but the guards did not allow me. The military judge decided to release me in a plea bargain. He imposed a fine of NIS 2,000 and gave me a suspended sentence of 12 months valid for two years. I was not happy with the plea bargain because they wanted me to confess to something I did not do. I had to confess to attempting to place an explosive device on the side of the road. But then I decided to accept the plea bargain because I wanted to go home.
I was released on 11 June 2023. They dropped me off in front of Ofer, without crutches and without a wheel chair. I leaned against another boy who was released with me. Lots of family and friends came to Ofer to take me home. I arrived home at around 11:00 p.m. A day after I was released I had to be hospitalized for an appendix surgery, it was one thing after another. I still go to the hospital for checkups. 
The Israeli hospital never gave me my medical report to give to my doctors in Ramallah and the prison authorities never gave me back my identity card. I left school when I was in eighth grade and I have a job at a dates factory in the Jordan valley but I cannot go to work because I still do not have my identity card. I have a platinum implant in my shoulder and I still have shrapnel in my leg which the doctors could not remove.