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Testimony: Y.M.A.I.


Name: Y.M.A.I.
Age: 17
Date: 21 October 2021
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Shooting / throwing Molotov cocktails

On 21 October 2021, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:00 a.m. and accused of shooting. He reports being informed of his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 50 days in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence. 

My mother woke me up at around 3:00 a.m. to tell me that Israeli soldiers had blown off our front door and were in our house. About 10 soldiers entered and asked my father for our identity cards. Then they told my father they wanted to take me away for an hour for "a chat". They gave my father a document with details about my arrest handwritten in Hebrew.
The soldiers remained inside our home for about 30 minutes then one soldier tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not painful. Then he blindfolded me and took me outside. 
Once outside the soldiers led me for about 10 minutes on foot towards the nearby military base where they left me on the ground for about 10 minutes. Then they put me in a bus where I sat on a seat. The bus drove for a while and then dropped some soldiers off. Meanwhile I was transferred to the back of a military jeep where I sat on a seat. 
The jeep drove to the village of Al-Khader where the soldiers made some more arrests. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was left outdoors in the cold until around 9:00 a.m. I was not given any food or drink but I was allowed to use the toilet. At around 9:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and the ties. He was dressed in civilian clothes. He phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer took my name and told me he was going to speak to my parents. He told me not to be afraid and told me I had the right to remain silent. The conversation lasted about two minutes. The interrogator was in the room during the conversation but I do not think he could hear anything because the phone was not on speaker.
After the phone call the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent. Then he accused me of shooting and throwing a Molotov cocktail at the military watchtower about a month earlier. I denied the accusation. Then the interrogator told me he was not going to leave me alone until I confessed. He said he was going to arrest my mother and father if I did not confess and told me my friends had confessed against me. He was aggressive and questioned me for about an hour and in the end, I confessed because I was stressed. The interrogator did not ask me to sign any documents.
Then I was searched in my boxer shorts and taken to a cell where I spent 15 days with another boy. During this time, I had three military court hearings over Zoom. My parents attended one of the hearings. Then I was transferred to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. I was strip searched before being taken to section 18. 
I had about eight military court hearings. At the last one, which was on 11 November 2021, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 50 days in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given another 12 months in prison suspended for four years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer negotiated it and I knew I was going to be released two weeks later. 
I spent the rest of my prison sentence at Ofer. I was released on 25 November 2021, and I went home with my brother. I arrived home at around 7:00 p.m. I have left school so that I can work at a stone quarry to earn some money.