|24 November 2022
|Ni'lin, West Bank
On 24 November 2022, a 16-year-old minor from Ni'lin was shot and arrested by Israeli soldiers as he walked to his aunt's house at 9:00 p.m. He reports ill-treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence.
I was walking to my aunt’s house at around 9:00 p.m. when Israeli soldiers suddenly started to shoot at me. There were no clashes in the area at the time. I was shot in the shoulder and knee. I fell to the ground and I was bleeding heavily. I was scared that the soldiers might leave me there bleeding to death. One of the soldiers kicked me in my injured leg and another sat on me. Then about 20 more soldiers arrived at the scene. Some of them swore at me when they saw me bleeding.
About an hour later and ambulance arrived. I was taken by the soldiers on a stretcher and then I was taken to Tel Hashomer hospital, in Israel. I was not conscious all the time, I was dizzy as I had lost a lot of blood.
At the hospital I was handcuffed and shackled to the hospital bed and two soldiers were guarding me the whole time. I spent 20 days at the hospital but my family were not allowed to visit me and I was not allowed to call them. During this time, I was interrogated three times by an interrogator who came to the hospital.
The first interrogation was one day after I had arrived at the hospital. The interrogator was aggressive and spoke to me in Arabic. He allowed me to speak to a lawyer on the phone. The lawyer told me it was ok for the interrogator to question me, he said let him ask his questions. The interrogator was not around during the phone call which lasted less than a minute.
I cannot remember whether the interrogator informed me of my right to silence; I was not feeling well and was unable to concentrate. The interrogator accused me of throwing stones at settlers on the road near the settlement of Nilli. I denied the accusation and told him I was going to my aunt’s house to take her some olive oil. He accused me of lying and claimed soldiers had testified against me. I told him the soldiers are liars because I did not throw any stones at anyone. He questioned me for about an hour and I found it hard to focus because I was in pain. He did not ask me to sign any documents.
Five days later I had a military court hearing via zoom on a mobile phone. I briefly saw my father and brother on the screen, but the screen was not clear and the soldier who was holding the phone moved it away from me. I did not speak to them to tell them how I was. The military judge decided to extend my detention.
Two days after the first interrogation I was interrogated again. I was still at the hospital. This time I did not speak to a lawyer and I do not remember having been informed of my right to silence. The interrogator was aggressive and accused me of the same accusation. I continued to deny it. I was questioned for about 30 minutes and at the end the interrogator wanted me to sign a document written in Hebrew. At first, I refused to sign and asked him to translate it for me. After he did, I signed it.
A couple of days later I was interrogated a third time. This time the interrogator threatened to leave me in prison for a long time if I did not confess. He did not call a lawyer for me and did not inform me of my right to silence. He threatened to leave me in prison for ten years if I did not confess. Then he told me there was no need for me to confess because the soldiers’ testimonies were enough to convict me. He did not ask me to sign any documents.
After spending 20 days at the hospital I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. I was strip searched and then I was taken to section 13.
I had six military court hearings. At the last one, which was about five months before I was released, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 10 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I also received another four months in prison suspended for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer advised me to do so and because the deal was better than the 24 months which the prosecutor had requested.
My time in prison was very hard. I could not walk for months and months. In the end I forced myself to walk, I still limp until today. My parents visited me three times and I was allowed to call them from a telephone provided by the prison authorities once every two weeks.
I was released at Ofer checkpoint on 2 August 2023. I went home with my brother who was waiting for me. He helped me walk. I arrived home in the evening and had a nice dinner with my family.