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Testimony: H.I.R.Z.


Name: H.I.R.Z.
Age: 16
Date: 26 August 2019
Location: Qabatiya, West Bank
Accusation: Administrative Detention
On 26 August 2019, a 16-year-old minor from Qabatiya was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:30 a.m. He reports ill treatment. He reports being informed of his right to silence but not consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation. He reports being given 2 Administrative Detention orders totalling 6 months in prison. 
I woke up at around 2:30 a.m. when an Israeli soldier shone a torch light into my bedroom. There were about 15 soldiers in our home and they asked to see our identity cards and birth certificates. Then they searched the house without causing any damage but they did not tell us what they were looking for. 
After searching our house the soldiers pushed my mother and sisters into one of the rooms and took me and my father and brother into another. The commander told my father he wanted to arrest me and gave my father a document with details about my arrest filled out in Hebrew.
Then the soldiers took me outside and tied my hands behind my back with a single plastic ties which was tight and painful. Then a soldier blindfolded me and told me I was accused of planning a terrorist attack. I was then led along the street and the soldiers beat me on my head, shoulder and legs with their guns. They also slapped me. Then they pushed me into the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor between the soldiers’ boots. 
The jeep drove to the nearby settlement of Dotan. At the settlement I was taken to a shipping container where I was given a medical examination. The doctor removed the blindfold during the examination. He asked me if I had any illnesses. I was too scared to tell the doctor I was beaten by the soldiers because they were standing behind me while the doctor examined me. 
At around 9:00 a.m. I was searched over my clothes and then I was taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. Two days later I was taken to Salem base for interrogation.
The interrogator gave me a document about my rights; my right to silence and my right to consult with a lawyer. He made me sign the document after reading it. He allowed me to speak to my father and to tell him I was ok. He did not call a lawyer for me and I did not speak to one. 
Then the interrogator asked me why I was planning a terrorist attack. He told me my file was all ready and complete but he told me there was also a secret file. 
The interrogator questioned me for about 30 minutes and was calm the whole time. He wanted me to confess and told me even if I did not, my file had everything he needed. He told me I was accused of planning to throw pipe bombs at a settlement. I denied the accusation.
At the end of the interrogation he took my photograph and fingerprints without asking me to sign any documents. Then I was taken to Salem military court where I saw a lawyer for the first time. My parents were not informed and so they did not attend the hearing. The lawyer told me I was given an administrative detention order for three months. The hearing took about two minutes and I was immediately taken outside. After the hearing I was taken back to prison. 
On 25 November 2019, my administrative detention order was extended for another three months. This was a big blow to me just when I was looking forward to going home. During my time in prison I became very ill. I had epileptic fits and I was taken to a hospital for treatment.
In prison I attended Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics classes and I studied for my final school exams. My parents visited me five times in prison. I was released on 24 February 2020 and I went home with my uncles; I arrived home at around 6:00 p.m.