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Home » Children »

Testimony: B.S.


Name: B.S.
Age: 16 
Date of incident: 9 April 2013
Location: Haris, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 9 April 2013, a 16-year-old boy from Haris village, was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill-treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 5 months in prison and fined NIS 1,500. 

I was asleep when my father woke me up at around 2:30 a.m. He told me Israeli soldiers were in our home. I quickly got dressed and went to see what was happening. A soldier introduced himself as Commander Avik.  He told me he was in possession of confessions my friends had made against me and that I must come for questioning. He said I would be back home the next day.
My hands were then tied behind my back with three plastic ties, wrapped around my wrists three fold. I complained that the ties were too tight and caused me pain, but nobody paid any attention. I was also blindfolded. I was then led out of my house to a waiting military jeep and placed on a bench inside the vehicle. I was not mistreated inside the jeep.
Around 15 minutes later the jeep arrived at the nearby settlement of Yaqir. I was then given a medical examination. The doctor removed the plastic ties and the blindfold. He also gave me a drink of water. I was then given a questionnaire to complete. It was written in Hebrew and Arabic and referred to injuries and illnesses. After I had completed the questionnaire, my hands were re-tied and I was blindfolded. I was then taken to another room where I waited with two other young men.
I waited from around 3:30 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. At 7:30 a.m. I was placed in a military vehicle and taken to Huwwara military base, near Nablus. On arrival at Huwwara I was placed in a shipping container where I waited until around 11:00 a.m. My plastic ties were removed and replaced with metal handcuffs. Somebody asked me for the names of my parents and their telephone numbers. I was also ordered to strip down to my underwear and I was searched.
At around 11:00 a.m., I was driven to Salem interrogation centre, near Jenin. I was accompanied by four other young Palestinian men. On the way I was given a sandwich, some sour cream and a tomato. One of the young men had a court hearing in Salem military court. The rest of us waited until his hearing was over. It took about two hours. I was then taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel.
We arrived at Megiddo at around 4:30 p.m. On arrival at Megiddo, I was taken for another security check. This time I was ordered to strip naked. They made me crouch, then stand up, crouch, then stand up, several times. I was then taken to Section 10 where adult prisoners are held, but when somebody asked my age I was transferred to the juvenile section. By then it was 5:45 p.m.
The following day, Wednesday, I was taken before an military judge in Salem court. The judge adjourned my case because I had not yet been interrogated. After court I was taken for interrogation in Salem.
The interrogator did not introduce himself. He did not inform me that I had any rights. He accused me of throwing stones. I denied the accusation. He then told me that my friends had provided confessions saying that I did throw stones. I didn’t believe him. He then shouted at me and told me if I wanted to be a real man I would confess. He also said that if I confessed he would tell the judge to release me, but if I didn’t, he would deny my father a permit to enter Israel for work. After about three hours of interrogation I confessed to throwing stones at army vehicles on the road near my school. 
After I confessed the interrogator  made me write out a series of questions and answers, such as: 'Where was I on a certain date?’ and 'Did I hit a jeep with a stone?’ I was then told to sign the paper which I did. Meanwhile, the interrogator was typing on his computer and speaking to me in broken Arabic. After the interrogation was over, my fingerprints were taken and I was photographed. I was then taken back to Megiddo prison, inside Israel.
All in all I had five court hearings. My parents attended all of them. On 29 April 2013, I was sentenced to six months and one day in jail, but my lawyer objected. He was able to reduce the sentence to five months in jail and a fine of NIS 1,500.
My parents applied for a permit to visit me in Meggido prison but my father’s application was rejected.  My mother was issued with a permit to visit me on 20 June 2013, more than two months after my arrest. During my five months in prison, my mother and younger brother visited me four times. In prison I missed my family and my friends very much. A teacher came and taught us mathematics and Arabic. I was finally released on 27 August 2013.