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Testimony: O.M.H.J.


Name: O.M.H.J.
Age: 14
Date: 6 August 2019
Location: Al 'Arrub camp, West Bank
Accusation: Protesting

On 6 August 2019, the father of a 14-year-old minor from Al 'Arrub refugee camp was served with a summons at 3:00 a.m. for his son to attend an interrogation. He reports being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He reports being released 12 hours later after payment of NIS 500.

Israeli soldiers came to our home at around 3:00 a.m. They banged very hard on the door and I woke up but remained in bed. My father opened the door and eight soldiers entered our house and many more remained outside.
The soldiers asked my father for his children and then named me. Then they told my father they had come to deliver a summons for me. The summons was filled out in Hebrew and did not give the reason for summoning me. They told my father he had to bring me to the police station in Etzion settlement at 8:00 a.m. the same morning. Then they left but I could not go back to sleep.
My father and I went to the police station as ordered and we arrived at 8:00 a.m. They kept us waiting outside until around 11:00 a.m. and then they took my father inside and showed him some video footage of clashes with soldiers and claimed I was taking part. My father denied I was involved. At around 11:30 a.m. I was taken for interrogation but they did not allow my father to accompany me.
As soon as I entered the interrogation room the interrogator phoned a lawyer and wanted me to speak to him but I refused to speak because I was very suspicious. Then the interrogator put the phone on speaker and held it close to me because I refused to hold it. I told the person on the line I did not want to speak to him.
Then the interrogator asked me whether I was going to be straightforward with him. I told him I was willing to be straightforward if he was. Then he turned his computer screen towards me and showed me a text saying I had the right to remain silent during interrogation. I read the statement and understood it but I decided not to remain silent because I thought that would mean I had something to hide.
Then the interrogator showed me a photo of a boy throwing a stone and told me it was me. I denied it. The interrogator accused me of lying to him. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and I did not confess to anything. Then he wanted me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign. Then I was taken to see another interrogator.
The second interrogator showed me the text about the right to silence but did not tell me I had the right to speak to a lawyer. He showed me a photograph of a person and wanted me to identify the person. I told him I did not know the person. He accused me of lying but I told him I was not lying. He questioned me for about 15 minutes and did not ask me sign anything.
Afterwards they took my photograph and fingerprints and then took me outside where I waited for about 30 minutes. Then I was told I was going to be released and that I had to pay a fine of NIS 500. They also gave me a document and told me I had a military court hearing on 11 February 2020. My father paid the fine and I went home with him at around 3:00 p.m.