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Testimony: A.Y.I.H.


Name: A.Y.I.H.
Age: 15
Date: 4 September 2021
Location: Al Jalazun camp, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing Molotov cocktails
On 4 September 2021, a 15-year-old minor from Al Jalazun refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers near Bet El settlement at 5:00 p.m. and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law.  He was sentenced to 7 months in prison as well as a suspended sentence. 
A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the wall surrounding the settlement of Bet El at around 5:00 p.m. I was in the area at the time and I ran away together with other boys who were nearby. Israeli soldiers chased and surrounded us. The soldiers started kicking and slapping me. I was hit hard in my eye and nose which started to bleed. The soldiers were also swearing at me. 
The soldiers then they took me to the back of a military jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. They threw me on top of the other boys they arrested with me. A soldier forced me to lift my hands up behind my head and slapped me. 
I was taken to the settlement gate where a soldier blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. Then he made me kneel for about five hours. The soldiers wanted to arrest one of the boys who managed to escape and made the rest of us wait. A soldier aimed his gun at me and threatened to kill me. 
Later I was taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement. I arrived there at around midnight. I was taken to a room together with other boys and the soldiers turned the air conditioner on cold. I was freezing. I was left there until around 5:00 a.m. when a soldier removed the tie and blindfold and I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator wore civilian clothes and an Israeli policeman was in the room translating for him. There was a camera and voice recorder in the room. He did not phone a lawyer for me and did not inform me of my right to silence. He asked me what I had done and when I said I had done nothing he yelled at me. He questioned me for about an hour and accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail at the settlement. I denied the accusation. 
The interrogator thumped the table aggressively and repeated the accusation and accused me of lying. Then he showed me photographs and video footage and threatened to lock me up in prison with my father. I was scared and then I confessed to throwing a Molotov cocktail. Then he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew and I signed. Then I was taken to another room where I was left for three days. They did not do anything to me for three days. I was given some bread and water but I was hungry and the soldiers were eating pizza in front of me. 
After three days I was put in a military vehicle which drove around from morning till night. I finally was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched before being taken to the quarantine section where I spent 14 days. About a week after my arrest I had a military court hearing. It was on zoom and my mother and uncle attended. My detention was extended. The following day I was interrogated again.
This time it was a different interrogator. He was also in civilian clothes. Before questioning me he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to be careful of what I say and advised me not to confess and not to sign any documents. The conversation lasted for a few minutes and the interrogator left the room and was not listening. 
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator wanted to know why I had done what I had done. Then he told me I had to confess before they could send me home. He accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail at the settlement but I denied the accusation. When I denied the accusation, he yelled at me and told me he was going to torture me if I did not confess. Then he played the recorder where I confessed to the first interrogator. I told him I confessed because I was threatened. 
The second interrogator questioned me for about two hours and shouted and swore at me. At the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. I refused to sign and told him I was not going to sign except in the presence of a lawyer. Then I was taken back to the quarantine section.
I had two military court hearings. At the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to seven months in prison and a suspended sentence for five years. I was not fined. I accepted the plea bargain because it guaranteed my release on a fixed date. 
After spending time at the quarantine section, I was transferred to section 13 where I spent the rest of my time. In prison I lifted weights and my parents visited me about 10 times. I did not have access to a telephone from the prison authority.
I was released at Al Jib checkpoint on 24 January 2022, and I went home with my brother.