|16 December 2022
|Al Mughayyer, West Bank
On 16 December 2022, a 17-year-old minor from Al Mughayyer was arrested by Israeli soldiers on a street in his town at 6:30 p.m. He reports ill -treatment. He reports being informed of his legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to five months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence.
I was on my way home at around 6:30 p.m. when a convoy of Israeli military jeeps entered our town. There were no clashes at the time and things were quiet. One of the jeeps pulled over next to me, a soldier stepped out, grabbed me and pushed me into the back of the jeep and threw me onto the metal floor.
A soldier blindfolded me and then tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were very tight and painful and cut into my wrists until I was bleeding. The soldiers inside the jeep, including the driver, slapped and kicked me. They also swore at me and calling me "a son of a whore" and "a brother of a whore".
They drove me to a nearby military base and dumped me in a room with cameras for three days. I was by myself in the room and I didn’t speak to anyone or see anyone. I was scared and lonely and could not sleep. I was worried about my parents because they had no idea where I was. Occasionally a soldier would walk into the room and slap me. On the third day, at around 2:00 p.m., I was taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement. A soldier removed the ties and the blindfold and took my fingerprints. Then I was taken into a room with a female interrogator who spoke to me through an interpreter.
The interrogator had a camera and a voice recorder in the room. She pointed them out to me and told me everything I say would be recorded. Then she called my parents and told them where I was and asked them for the phone number of a lawyer.
Then she called the lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to tell the interrogator what I had done. He also told me there was nothing to be afraid of. The interrogator was not listening to the conversation which lasted less than two minutes.
After I spoke to the lawyer the interrogator told me what my rights were. She said I had the right to remain silent and the right not to sign any documents in Hebrew if I did not speak Hebrew. She also told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer.
Then she wanted to know why I was arrested by the soldiers. She accused me of possessing a bomb of some sort. I denied the accusation. Then she thumped the desk aggressively and threatened to keep me in prison for a long time if I did not confess. Then she took me to a cell and left me there for about 30 minutes. She questioned me for about two hours and showed me a document written in Hebrew and said it was ok if I did not want to sign it if I did not understand the language. I did not sign.
After the interrogation I was taken to Al Mascobiyyeh police station in West Jerusalem. By this time I was exhausted and sleep deprived. On arrival I was strip searched in a humiliating manner. When I objected I was beaten up while completely naked. Then I was put in a cell with two other detainees. I thought they were informants and did not trust them. I spent 18 days at Al Mascobiyyeh.
During this time, I had four military court hearings. After each session I was taken to Binyamin police station for more interrogation. I spoke to a lawyer each time and I was informed of my right to silence each time. I was accused of the same accusation which I continued to deny. After each interrogation I was asked to sign documents written in Hebrew but I refused to sign.
After spending 18 days at Al Mascobiyyeh I was transferred to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched before being put in section 13.
I attended about 15 military court hearings. My parents attended all of them except the first one. At the last hearing, which was on 15 May 2023, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to five months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given another one year in prison suspended for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because I was going to be released on the same day.
I was released from Ofer on 15 May 2023. I went home with my father and brother. We arrived home at around 11:30 p.m.
In prison I read the Quran and I helped keep the ward clean. I also attended classes in Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics. I had two family visits and I was allowed to call home twice a month from a telephone provided by the prison authorities.