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Home » Children »

Testimony: U.F.I.L.


Name:  U.F.I.L.
Age:  16
Date:  14 December 2022
Location:  Al Mughayyer, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones / Molotov cocktails

On 14 December 2022, a 16-year-old minor from Al Mughayyer was arrested by Israeli soldiers while on his way to school at 7:30 a.m. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 7 days in prison and fined NIS 1,000. 

I was on my way to school in a car with four other students at around 7:30 a.m. There were lots of temporary Israeli military checkpoints on the way. We passed the first one without any problems but we were stopped at the second one. 
The soldiers ordered us out of the car. One of the soldiers pulled me aside, and immediately tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were very tight and painful. He made me wait on the side of the road and then I was taken in a civilian car to a military base at the settlement of Ofra. 
At the military base a soldier blindfolded me and took me to a room where more than one soldier started to ask me questions. They accused me of throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail at settler cars. I denied the accusation and told them I was on my way to school. They questioned me without first allowing me to speak to a lawyer and without informing me of my right to silence. 
When I denied the accusations, they accused me of lying to them and started to beat me up. They kicked me and beat me with wooden batons. I could not tell how many soldiers took part in beating me because I was blindfolded but I could hear their voices. They also called me "a son of a whore" and "brother of a whore". 
Then one of the soldiers called my father and asked him for my identity card number. Then I was taken to another room where I was left until the afternoon. During this time, I was not given any food or drink but I was allowed to use the toilet. Later I was taken to Binyamin police station where I was left outdoors until around 11:00 p.m. I was still without any food or drink. At around 11:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold. He was wearing T-shirt and black trousers. He phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him before he started to question me. The lawyer told me not to say anything and to reply with “I don’t know anything” to any questions he might ask me. The interrogator left the room during the phone call which lasted about three minutes.
When the interrogator came back into the room and told me I had the right to remain silent. During the interrogation I sometimes chose to remain silent and at other times I chose to speak especially when he accused me of things I did not do. I felt I had to defend myself. 
The interrogator accused me of setting fire to tires and of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a settler car and a military vehicle. He also accused me of throwing stones. I denied all accusations. He then showed me video footage of the incident and claimed I was there. I denied it was me. He then thumped the table aggressively and accused me of lying. He threatened to keep me in prison for a long time if I did not confess. 
I was questioned for about 30 minutes and at the end the interrogator asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. When I asked him to translate it for me and he refused, I refused to sign it. 
After the interrogation I was left outdoors all night. I did not sleep at all and I was still without food or drink. 
In the morning I was taken to the military court. My parents did not attend because they did not tell them about the hearing. My detention was extended. After court I was strip searched and then I was taken to Ofer prison. In prison I had my first meal since my arrest. I was tired and hungry.
A few days later, on the day I was released, I had another court hearing. The military judge decided he was satisfied with the time I had already spent in prison. He fined my parents NIS 1,000 and imposed a suspended sentence on me of three months in prison valid for five years. 
I was released at Al-Jib checkpoint on 21 December 2022, and I went home with my brother. I arrived home at around 11:00 p.m.