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Testimony: A.I.M.S.


Name: A.I.M.S.
Age: 17
Date: 1 June 2020
Location: Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 1 June 2020, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 4:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator prior to interrogation. He was sentenced to 7 months in prison and fined NIS 3,000. He also received a suspended sentence. 

I was arrested from my home at around 4:00 a.m. I was up studying and I heard loud banging at our front door. My father opened the door and about 15 Israeli soldiers entered our home. My younger sister, who was 13-years-old, was terrified and started to cry. They asked for our identity cards and then searched the house and took all the clothes out of the wardrobes. They did not tell us what they were looking for.
After about 30 minutes a soldier gave my father a document with details about my arrest filled out in Hebrew and said I was under arrest. They did not give us a reason for the arrest. A soldier wanted to tie my hands while still inside the house but I refused; I did not want my parents to see me tied. They took me outside where they tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were very tight and left marks on my wrists. I was also blindfolded. 
I was then taken to the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. Inside the jeep soldiers poked me with their guns and kicked me.
I was taken to the settlement of Karmi Zur where I was left out in the cold for about 30 minutes. Then I was taken into a shipping container where I stayed for about four hours. I was given a medical examination during this time. At around 9:00 a.m. I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement for interrogation.
At first the interrogator removed the blindfold but kept the ties and then phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to worry and not to sign any documents. The interrogator was listening to the conversation which lasted less than a minute. 
Then the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers. He gave me a specific date and told me I was among a group of boys who took part in clashes with soldiers. I denied the accusation. Then he showed me a photograph of the clashes he was talking about and told me I was there. I denied I was there. Then he told me my friends had confessed against me and that one of them claimed I had thrown a pipe bomb at soldiers. I denied all the accusations. 
About half way through the interrogation the interrogator told me I could remain silent if he asked me a question I did not know the answer to. He was calm most of the time and at the end he asked me to sign documents written in Hebrew and I signed without understanding anything. 
After the interrogation I was searched in my boxer shorts and taken into a cell at Etzion. I spent 16 days in the cell. During this time, I had a military court hearing by video link which my parents did not attend because they were not informed. My detention was extended and the hearing was adjourned. 
After 16 days I was transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel, where I was searched in my boxer shorts and then I was taken to the quarantine section where I spent 14 days. Then I was transferred to section 3 at Megiddo. 
I had six military court hearings and at the last one, which was on 24 August 2020, I was sentenced in a plea bargain to seven months in prison and fined NIS 3,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of one year in prison suspended for five years. I accepted the plea bargain because it seemed good compared to the serious allegations in the charge sheet. 
In prison I exercised. I had one family visit during this time. I was released at Beitunia checkpoint on 10 December 2020, and went home with my father, my friend and my brother-in-law. We arrived home at around 8:00 p.m.