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Testimony: K.W.H.A.


Name: K.W.H.A.
Age: 14
Date: 1 February 2017
Location: Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 1 February 2017, A 14-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being released 9 days later on payment of a fine of NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence. 

My brother woke me up at around 3:00 a.m. to tell me that Israeli soldiers were in our house and they wanted us all to go to the living room. I could hear the voices of the soldiers inside the house. The soldiers examined my father’s identity card and told him they wanted to arrest me. They told me to prepare myself to be arrested. They did not tell me why they wanted to arrest me or where they were taking me and did not give us any documents.
The soldiers took me outside where they tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. Then they walked me for about 10 minutes towards Route 60 and took me to a bus for troops with other detainees. I sat on a seat.
The bus drove to the nearby settlement of Karmi Zur and then to Etzion. At Etzion I was taken to a room where I sat on a bed but I could not sleep because the soldiers were making a lot of noise. Then I was taken to a doctor who examined me while I was still tied. I remained in the room until around 9:00 a.m. when I was taken for interrogation.
I was interrogated while tied. The interrogator accused me of throwing Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs at soldiers. He interrogated me for about four hours. About half way through the interrogation he showed me document which said I had the right to remain silent but he did not say anything about the right to consult with a lawyer. When I denied the accusations he slapped me on the face and painfully twisted my ear.
During the interrogation three other interrogators joined in but they did not say much. The interrogator kept repeating the same accusations but I denied them all. He told me there were confessions against me from two other boys but I told him this could not be true. I was scared during the interrogation especially when the interrogator slapped me.  In the end I confessed to throwing stones at soldiers on one occasion.
Then I was taken to see an Israeli policeman who printed out my statement after he asked me the same questions and told me I had the right to silence and the right to consult with a lawyer. The statement was written in Hebrew and the interrogator asked me to sign it and I did without understanding what it said. Then they took my fingerprints and my photograph and then strip searched me and took me into a cell. There they removed the ties and I remained in the cell until around 8:00 p.m.
At around 8:00 a.m. some soldiers shackled and handcuffed me and took me to the back of a police car where I sat on a seat. The car drove to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. At Ofer I was strip searched again and taken into Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not notified so they did not attend but my lawyer was there. I had four additional hearings which my parents attended and I was allowed to speak to them. At the last hearing I was sentenced to two months in prison but my lawyer was able to get me out in return for a fine of NIS 2,000. I also received a suspended sentence of three months valid for two years. I was released form Ofer on 9 February 2017, and I arrived home with my parents at around 6:00pm