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Testimony: M.K.A.H.


Name: M.K.A.H.
Age: 17
Date: 3 March 2020
Location: Silwad, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing Molotov cocktails

On 3 March 2020, a 17-year-old minor from Silwad was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:00 a.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He was sentenced to 1 month in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence. 

I woke up at around 2:00 a.m. to the sound of loud banging at our front door. I opened the door and six Israeli soldiers entered our home. I could see many more soldiers were outside. A soldier asked to check our identity cards and then the commander told me I was under arrest. He did not give me any documents or tell me why I was being arrested. He told me to get dressed and then I was taken away.
Once outside the house I was handcuffed to the front with metal handcuffs. The handcuffs were not painful. I was also blindfolded and taken to the back of a military jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove me to the nearby settlement of Ofra. When we arrived at the settlement I was taken to a shipping container where I was able to sleep. Later I was taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement.  At Binyamin I was left in a room for about an hour before being taken for interrogation.
The interrogator wore civilian clothes. Before he started to question me I asked to speak to a lawyer. He phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent. The conversation lasted for less than a minute and the interrogator left the room during the conversation.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail on the main road near the settlement a week before I was arrested. I denied the accusation. He repeated the accusation and when I denied it again he raised his voice at me and wanted me to confess. I did not. Then he told me other boys had confessed against me but I did not believe him and continued to deny the accusation. He named the boys and showed me a picture of a car and claimed the car was used in the incident when the Molotov cocktail was thrown. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and I continued to deny the accusation and tried not to answer his questions.
At the end of the interrogation the interrogator showed me documents written in Hebrew and asked me to sign them and I signed without understanding what they said. I thought I was obliged to sign. 
Then I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched before being taken to section 13. I arrived there at around noon. The other prisoners gave me some food and I ate because I was very hungry.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My family did not attend the hearing because they were not notified. My lawyer was there and the hearing was adjourned. I attended five military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to one month in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of three months valid for one year. I accepted the bargain on the advice of my lawyer.
I spent the whole month inOfer prison. I was released on 9 April 2020, and taken by Palestinian police to a hotel where I was tested for the Corona virus. I spent a night at the hotel and when the test was negative I was taken home. The doctors told me I had to self-quarantine for 14 days.    
 This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.