|13 March 2022
|Qabatiya, West Bank
On 13 March 2022, a 17-year-old minor from Qabatiya was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:00 a.m. He reports being held without charge or trial in administrative detention based on secret evidence for a total of 12 months and being unlawfully transferred from occupied territory.
I woke up at around 2:00 a.m. to the sound of Israeli soldiers banging aggressively at our front door. My father answered and about 25 soldiers entered our home, half of who were masked. The commander spoke to my father and asked him about me. My younger brother, who is 10 years old, was terrified when he saw masked soldiers in our home.
The commander asked to see my identity card and then told me I was under arrest. He did not give my parents any documents and did not say why he wanted to arrest me. The soldiers also searched our house for about 20 minutes.
After about 20 minutes a soldier took me outside where he blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties: one on each wrist and the ties were connected together in the middle like a chain. The ties were tight and painful and left marks on my wrists for a month.
Then I was taken to the back of a military jeep and the soldiers allowed me to sit on a seat. Inside the jeep a military paramedic gave me a quick medical examination. Then I was taken to Salem interrogation centre, near Jenin. I arrived there around 4:00 p.m. The trip to Salem took a long time and I was exhausted. I was not given any food or drink. I was hungry and sleepy. At around 4:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
A soldier removed the ties and the blindfold. Then he handcuffed me to the back with metal handcuffs and took me to the interrogation room. The interrogator was wearing civilian clothes. He tried calling a lawyer but the lawyer did not answer. Then he called my father and told him to appoint a lawyer for me.
The interrogator then asked me whether I had thrown stones or Molotov cocktails or shot at anyone. I told him I had not. He did not inform me of my right to silence and did not say he had any evidence against me. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and was mostly calm; he did not shout at me and did not threaten me. He did not ask me to sign any documents.
After the interrogation I was taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. I was strip searched before being taken to the minors’ section. Two days later I had my first military court hearing at Salem court. My father attended and my detention was extended for more interrogation.
After court I was taken for another interrogation. I did not speak to a lawyer and I was not informed of my right to silence. The interrogator was calm and asked me the same questions as the first interrogator. He questioned me for about 15 minutes and asked me to sign a document in Hebrew but I refused to sign something I did not understand.
I had five court hearings in all. At the fifth one I was handed an administrative detention order for four months based on secret evidence. I was devastated because it meant I could not defend myself because I was not told what I was accused of.
A day before I completed my administrative detention and was ready to go home I was handed another administrative detention order for another four months. My spirit was crushed. Then again, 10 days before I completed my second four months in administrative detention I was handed another four month extension. It was unbearable.
I spent eight months at the minors’ section and when I turned 18 I was transferred to the adults’ section. The last week in prison I was transferred to Nafha prison in the desert in Israel.
My parents visited me about 10 times and I was allowed to call home from a telephone provided by the prison authorities twice a month when I was a minor. The phone calls stopped when I turned 18. I passed the time exercising and lifting weights and I attended classes in Arabic, Hebrew and Mathematics.
On my last day in prison I could no longer wait. It was the longest day in my life, waiting to see if I was going to be released or handed another administrative detention. I was released at Athahiriya checkpoint on 14 March 2023. My father and brother were waiting for me at the checkpoint and took me home. I arrived home at around midnight. I was exhausted. I had dinner and went to bed.