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Testimony: S.T.F.S.


Name:  S.T.F.S.
Age:  17
Date:  8 August 2020
Location:  Nablus, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones/Molotovs

On 6 August 2020, a 17-year-old minor from Nablus was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:30 p.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports ill treatment. He reports being informed of his right to silence but not consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation. He was sentenced to 1 month in prison and fined NIS 1,200.

Earlier on the day of my arrest boys were throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers on a hill nearby. Me and my friend went there to see what was going on. At around 4:30 p.m. a military jeep chased us and we ran away. The jeep followed us and five soldiers stepped out and captured me. They swore at me and kicked me in the back. 
A soldier tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie. The tie was so tight that it cut through my wrists and I bled. I still have marks on my wrists. Then he forced me to the ground. To begin with I sat cross-legged but the soldier said something in Hebrew, which I did not understand, and forced me to straighten my legs and struck me with the back of his gun. I was left on the side of the road in the hot sun for about two hours and I was slapped and kicked a couple of times.
About two hours later  two more jeeps arrived at the scene and I was put in the back of one where I sat on a seat. Soldiers inside the jeep seemed to be making fun of me. The jeep drove to Huwwara military base where I was searched in my underwear before being taken into a room where I was blindfolded. 
Later I was taken outside and a soldier made me sit on the ground and I leaned my back against a shipping container. The soldiers outside made fun of me and kicked me on my legs as they went by. I was left there for about two hours and I begged the soldiers for some food but they did not bring me any. They swore at me and slapped me many times.
At around 8:00 p.m. I was taken to the police station in Ariel settlement where I was put in a big room together with five other detainees. At around midnight a soldier brought us one tin of hummus and a loaf of bread which was hardly enough for all of us. At around 1:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
A female interrogator questioned me through an interpreter. She removed the blindfold and asked me for my name and where I came from. Then she told me I had the right to remain silent before she started to question me. She gave me a document written in Arabic and Hebrew informing me of my rights. She then made me sign it. I did not speak to a lawyer. 
Then she asked me why I was in her office. I told her I did not know. The interpreter yelled at me when I refused to give an answer. Then he repeated the interrogator’s question and shouted at me telling me to answer. At first I told him I did not know but later I confessed to taking part in the clashes. The interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes.
At the end of the interrogation I was shown documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign something I did not understand. The interpreter got angry at me and pushed me aggressively and yelled at me telling me to sign and so I signed. 
After the interrogation I was taken to a room and I slept on a chair while tied and blindfolded, I was exhausted. I was left there until around 4:00 p.m. I was thirsty and asked for water but the soldiers yelled at me and did not bring me any water. 
At around 4:00 p.m. I was taken back to Huwwara where “Captain Odai” spoke to me. He did not inform me of my rights and asked me whether I wanted to spend five years in prison. I told him I wanted to go home. Then I was searched in my underwear and taken to a cell.
I spent 16 days in the cell at Huwwara together with another boy. The cell was very small and dirty. The toilet was in the room and there were lots of mosquitos. The food was disgusting. During this time I had two military court hearings via video link. My parents did not attend and the hearings were adjourned. 
Sixteen days after my arrest I was taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. I was strip searched and then taken to a quarantine part in the prison. A few days later I had another military court hearing via video and I was sentenced in a plea bargain to one month in prison. My father told the military judge he wanted to pay money to get me released and the judge agreed. My father had to pay NIS 1,200. I did not get a suspended sentence and I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted to go home.
I was given early release on 27 August 2020 but my parents were not informed of my release. I went home with the family of another detainee who was released with me. I called my parents on the way and I arrived home at around 1:00 a.m. My mother cried when she saw me as she was very happy to see me home.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.