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Testimony: O.M.A.D.


Name: O.M.A.D.
Age: 16
Date: 24 January 2019
Location: Aida camp, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing Molotov cocktails
On 24 January 2019, a 16-year-old minor from Aida refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:30 a.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being released without charge 11 days after his arrest. 
I was fast asleep when I suddenly heard loud banging at our front door. It was around 2:30 a.m. Then I heard an explosion and about 30 Israeli soldiers stormed into our home. 
I jumped out of bed and stood by the door as a soldier pushed me back into the bedroom and sat me down on the bed and started to question me. He wanted to know if I had banned materials in my position but did not explain and I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he threatened to bring in the police dogs that were waiting outside the house. I told him I had no banned materials.
Then the commander told me to get ready because I was under arrest. He gave my father a document but my father tore it up without even looking at it. Then soldier handcuffed me with metal handcuffs behind my back which were painful and left marks on my wrists. Then they blindfolded me and my mother started to shout at them but they did not give any attention to her.
I was then taken outside and led about 100 meters away before being made to kneel for about an hour. I was in pain. Then they took me towards a nearby checkpoint where they made me wait for about 30 minutes until a military vehicle picked me up and took me to the settlement of Har Homa. 
On arrival at the settlement I was left there in a room from around 4:00 a.m. until around 8:00 a.m., handcuffed and blindfolded, before being taken for interrogation. I was not given any food or water and I could not sleep.
The interrogator had a camera and a voice recorder. He removed the handcuffs and the blindfold and told me I had the right to remain silent. Then he warned me that remaining silent might harm me in court.  Then he told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer. He phoned a lawyer and I spoke to him. The lawyer told me not to say anything and to remain silent. Then the interrogator started to question me. He wanted to know whether I worked and what type of mobile phone I had. Then he told me there were suspicions that I threw bombs and Molotov cocktails at a road tunnel used by settlers. I denied the accusation.  
The interrogation lasted for about four hours. The interrogator kept repeating the same accusations and I denied them. Then he accused me of lying and when I objected and told him I was not lying he told me to shut up and slapped me. Then he turned the camera and the voice recorder off and punched me in the face. He swore at me and called my mother “a whore” and said rude things about her.
At the end of the interrogation I was shown documents written in Hebrew and asked to sign them but I refused to sign. Then he took my fingerprints and photograph. I was then taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched. 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not informed and did not attend the hearing and I was taken back to prison. I spent four nights at Ofer and then I was taken for another interrogation at Har Homa police station.
The interrogator did not inform me of my rights and accused me of trading in stolen motor bikes. I denied the accusation. The interrogation lasted for about an hour and in the end I was shown documents in Hebrew and asked to sign them but I refused to sign. Then I was taken back to prison. 
I had three more military court hearings and at the last one I was released without charge. My parents did not pay any fines. I was released on 3 February 2019, and I arrived home with my family at around 1:30 a.m. I had dinner and chatted with my family and then I went to bed.