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Testimony: T.M.T.S.


Name:  T.M.T.S.
Age:  14
Date:  3 October 2022
Location:  Beit Sira, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 3 October 2022, a 14-year-old minor from Beit Sira was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 4:00 a.m. He reports briefly consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence. He reports being released on NIS 4,000 bail 5 weeks after his arrest. 

Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 4:00 a.m. They blew open the front door with an explosion and stormed in. It cost us NIS 1,900 to fix the door. Many soldiers entered and spread out all over our house. They took our telephones and identity cards. Then one of the soldiers told my mother they were looking for Mustafa. My mother told him Mustafa was her husband but he died 10 years ago. Then the soldier checked the annex in my mother’s identity card, made some phone calls and then told her they wanted to arrest me.  
A soldier gave my mother a document filled out in Hebrew and asked her to sign it. They did not tell us what they wanted me for. About 30 minutes later they took me outside where a soldier tied my hands to the front with a tight plastic tie. It was so tight that it caused me a lot of pain. He also blindfolded me before leading me towards the fence of the nearby settlement of Maccabim. 
When we arrived at the settlement a troop carrier picked me up. I sat on a seat and I was taken to a police station at Modi’in. The trip took eight hours although the police station is not that far. At the police station I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator did not remove the tie or the blindfold. He phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. He then left the room. The lawyer told me to take care of myself and not to confess.  He spoke to me for about a minute. Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator threatened to trash our house if I did not confess. He accused me of throwing stones and wanted to know the names of the boys who were with me. 
I was scared that he might go to our house and trash it, so I confessed against myself only and did not give any other names. The interrogator questioned me for about an hour and at the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew which I signed without understanding. 
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched before being taken into the minors’ section. The following day I had my first military court hearing. My mother did not attend because no one informed her. My detention was extended. I had seven other court hearings. 
At my last hearing, which was on the day of my release, the military court decided to release me on bail based on my age and a medical report on my mental health condition. My mother had to pay NIS 4,000 bail and I was told my file had not been closed and that there will be more hearings. I was then released on the same day, 11 November 2022.
I did not go to the first hearing after my release because my mother did not think it was necessary. My next hearing will be on 2 January 2023 which I will attend. 
In prison I watched television and chatted to the other boys, but I was bored. Since my release I avoid leaving the house except to go to school. I stay home and don’t go out to play with my friends like I did before. My mother told me it was better for me to stay home. I am finding it hard to focus at school, I still think of my experience in prison.