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Testimony: J.M.J.H.


Name: J.M.J.H.
Age: 14
Date: 12 October 2022
Location: Beit Sira, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 12 October 2022, a 14-year-old minor from Beit Sira was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 4:00 a.m. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being sentenced to 3 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He was also given a good behaviour bond of NIS 10,000. 

My mother woke me up at around 4:00 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers were in our home. I got up and found eight soldiers in our house with many more outside. One of the soldiers told me to sit down on the floor and told my parents that I threw stones at soldiers and wanted to know why. Then one soldier gave my parents a document filled out in Hebrew and asked my father to sign it. Then they told me to get dressed because I was under arrest. 
After I got dressed a soldier tied my hands to the front with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were not painful. Then they blindfolded me and took me outside. The soldiers remained in our house for no more than 15 minutes; it seemed like they were in a hurry.
The soldiers then led me towards the Wall where I waited a short before I was taken to a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. I was driven somewhere where I was given a quick medical examination before being taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement. I was taken to a room where I sat on a chair. At around noon a soldier removed my blindfold and I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator wore civilian clothes and had a voice recorder on his desk. He started to interrogate me before allowing me to speak to a lawyer. He did not inform me of my right to silence. He accused me of throwing stones and wanted me to confess. I denied the accusation. 
At first, he was calm but when I denied the accusation he became angry and spoke to me in a loud voice. He scared me with his loud voice. When I told him I did not know anything he shouted even louder and slapped me. At the end I confessed to being too close to the Wall and then I confessed to throwing five stones. 
After confessing the interrogator phoned a lawyer and handed me the telephone to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess because if I did I would go to prison and if I did not I would be sent home. When I told the lawyer I had already confessed, the line was cut off. The conversation lasted for less than a minute and the interrogator left the room during the conversation. I don’t think I was asked to sign any documents.
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched before being taken to section 13. 
The following day I had a military court hearing which both my parents attended. My detention was extended. I had eight court hearings. At the last one, which was about two weeks before I was released, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to three months in prison and a fine of NIS 2,000. I was also put on a NIS 10,000 bond. I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted to go home. 
I spent the rest of my sentence in Ofer prison where I attended classes in Arabic. I missed so many school days and I’m finding it hard to cope. In prison I did not have any family visits because the permit was not issued in time. 
I was given an early release on 4 December 2022 and taken to Al-Jib checkpoint. My parents were not informed of my early release so they were not there to take me home. The other boy who was released with me called his family who called my family who then came and picked me up and took me home. I arrived home at around 1:30 a.m.