|5 September 2021
|Sa'ir, West Bank
On 5 September 2021, a 16-year-old minor from Sa'ir was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was released on NIS 4,000 bail, 17 days after he was arrested.
Israeli soldiers came to my uncle’s house at around 2:00 a.m. and asked him to show them the way to our house. My uncle knocked at our door and my father answered. About 12 soldiers entered our home. The commander asked to see our identity cards and then told my father to bring all his children to the middle room. Then the commander told my father he wanted to arrest me but did not say why. He gave my father a document filled out in Hebrew.
The soldiers remained in our home for about 15 minutes. They gave me time to get dressed and collect my hearing aid and then took me outside. They walked me a short distance and then blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were very tight and painful.
After I was tied they pushed me into the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. Inside the jeep soldiers kicked me all over my body. The jeep took me to the police station in Etzion settlement. I was left in a courtyard where lots of military jeeps were parked until around 8:00 a.m. Then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator was in civilian clothes. He did not allow me to speak to a lawyer and did not inform me of my right to silence. He accused me of throwing stones at a settler car in which a settler woman was hurt. I denied the accusation. The interrogator was aggressive and scary. He wanted me to confess and insisted that someone had sent me to throw stones. I continued to deny the accusation. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and then the batteries in my hearing aid ran out. At the end the interrogator asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew and did not translate it for me. I signed without understanding what was written.
After the interrogation I was strip searched and taken to a cell. Five days later I had my first military court hearing. My father attended the Zoom session and the military judge extended my detention. Ten days later I was transferred to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem.
I had four military court hearings and at the last one, which was on 22 September 2021, I was released on bail because of my medical condition and because my father proved through a CCTV camera that I was at a factory when the incident occurred. My father had to pay NIS 4,000 bail and I was placed under house arrest.
I went home with my father the following day. We arrived home at around midnight.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.