|21 October 2021
|Beit Fajjar, West Bank
|Throwing Molotov cocktails
On 21 October 2021, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:00 a.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports ill treatment. He reports being informed of his basic legal rights under Israeil military law. He was sentenced to 50 days in prison and fined NIS 2,000. He also received a suspended sentence.
I was arrested form home at around 3:00 a.m. I was asleep when I heard loud banging at our front door just as my sister came to alert me. My father rushed to open the door before it was broken down and about 10 Israeli soldiers entered our home.
The soldiers asked my father for our identity cards and then the commander told him they wanted to take me away for questioning. They searched the house without causing any damage and then they took me outside without giving my parents any documents.
A soldier tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. They also blindfolded me. I was then taken to the back of a military jeep where I sat on the metal floor between the soldiers’ feet. Inside the jeep soldiers verbally abused me and called me "a son of a whore". They also kicked me.
The soldiers drove me to a nearby military base where I was given a quick medical examination. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was left in a cell with another boy. At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept me tied. He phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent during the interrogation and told me there was nothing to be afraid of. The interrogator was listening to the conversation that lasted about a minute.
Then the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent. He explained it was my right not to answer his questions and that it was up to me. Then he told me if I remained silent he was going to arrest me again. He had a voice recorder on his desk.
Then he accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail and told me my friends had confessed against me. He then gave me a specific date and accused me of firing gun shots on that date. At first, I denied the accusation. Then the interrogator told me if I continued to deny the accusations and did not confess he was going to send me to Al Mascobiyeh for a harsher interrogation by an intelligence officer. He told me to be respectful to him in order for him to treat me with respect. He also told me if I confessed he was going to allow me to speak to my parents and would give me a cigarette.
He questioned me for about 90 minutes and was calm most of the time. At the end I confessed to throwing a Molotov cocktail because I realised there was no way out for me because my friends had confessed against me. Then the interrogator asked me to sign a document written in Arabic and Hebrew but I told him I was illiterate. Still he insisted I should sign and I signed.
After the interrogation I was strip searched and taken to a cell where I spent 15 days with one other detainee. My first military court hearing was on the third day after my arrest. It was conducted by video link. My parents did not attend because they were not informed. My detention was extended.
I had seven more hearings and at the last one, which was three weeks before I was released, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 50 days in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given another 17 months in prison suspended for two years. I accepted the plea bargain because it brought me release.
After spending 15 days in a cell at Etzion I was transferred to Ofer prison where I was strip searched. I spent the rest of my prison sentence at Ofer. I was released from Ofer on 25 November 2021 and I went home with my parents and brother-in-law, we arrived home at around 5:00 p.m. In prison I did not have any family visits because the permit takes about two months to be issued. I have dropped out of school and I now work in a quarry in the village to earn some money.