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Testimony: Y.J.A.A.


Name: Y.J.A.A.
Age: 15
Date: 17 August 2021
Location: Qalqiliya, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 17 August 2021, a 15-year-old minor from Qalqiliya was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 p.m. during clashes at a checkpoint and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He was released on NIS 1,200 bail, 1 month after his arrest. 
I was ambushed by a group of Israeli soldiers during clashes near the checkpoint. It was around 3:30 p.m. One of the soldiers grabbed me and forced me to walk towards the gate in the Wall. He slapped me and called me "fucker son of a whore". Then other soldiers joined in and took turns kicking and slapping me. 
Then one of the soldiers tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. My hands turned blue and the tie left marks on my wrists for a long time. Then he blindfolded me with a mouth mask but later replaced it with a cloth. I was then left on the ground until around 2:00 a.m. Then I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat and I was driven to an Israeli police station. I did not know where. At the police station they removed the blindfold and I was immediately taken for interrogation.
The interrogator was an Israeli policeman. He replaced the plastic tie with metal handcuffs.  He phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer asked me for my name and then told me to hand the telephone over to the interrogator. The lawyer and the interrogator started to chat in Hebrew. The lawyer did not speak to me or tell me anything. Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and attempting to hit a soldier with a stone on the head. I denied the accusation and told him I was far away from the soldiers. 
The interrogator questioned me for about 30 minutes and eventually I confessed. After I had confessed he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. When I asked what was written in the document he told me it said he had interrogated me. I signed.
Then I was taken to a settlement but I do not know which one. I was taken to a room and they brought me some food. A soldier was in the room with me. I was left there until the morning of the following day. I could not sleep, not for a second. At around 9:00 a.m. I was taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. I was strip searched before being taken to the quarantine section. I was left in quarantine by myself for 12 days. I found it hard because I am not used to being alone; I think they forgot about me. The room was big and had four bunk beds, windows and light which I controlled. After quarantine I was transferred to the minors’ section. 
My first military court hearing was on the third day after my arrest. It was conducted on zoom and I did not see my family, I don’t think they were there. My detention was extended. I had seven military court hearings and at the last one, which was on the same day that I was released, the court decided to release me on bail. My father had to pay NIS 1,200 and I was told I had to come to court in 10 days, and if I did not show up in court I would be arrested from home. The lawyer called my family later and told them the court hearing was cancelled. 
I was released after court on 19 September 2021 and I went home with my mother and my sister; we arrived home at around 8:30 p.m. 
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.