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Testimony: J.O.M.H.


Name: J.O.M.H.
Age: 13
Date: 12 October 2022
Location: Beit Sira, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing Molotov cocktails

On 12 October 2022, a 13-year-old minor from Beit Sira was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 4:00 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 on NIS 1,000 bail 3 days later.  

Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 4:00 a.m. I woke up to the sound of loud banging at our front door. At first, I thought I was dreaming and went back to sleep, but then a soldier struck me with his elbow on my knee and grabbed me by my T-shirt around the neck. He pulled me out of bed and pushed me into the corner of the bedroom. 
Five other soldiers surrounded my parents and siblings. My mother was terrified and she passed out. I was worried about her. Then one of the soldiers pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and marked my name on it. Then he took me to another room with my father. He told my father they wanted to arrest me but did not give a reason. He then gave my father a document filled out in Hebrew and asked my father to sign it. He then took the document away and did not give my father a copy.
A soldier then told me to get dressed but did not give me enough time. I wanted to grab a warm jacket but there was not time. The soldiers then took me outside without allowing me to say goodbye to my family. 
Outside our house a soldier tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not painful. Then the soldiers walked me on a dirt road for about an hour. On the way I fell a couple of times and the soldiers kicked and slapped me and called me "a son of a whore". I was so upset that I swore back at them. When we got to a military watchtower a soldier wanted to blindfold me but I refused. 
I was left by the watchtower for about 30 minutes before being taken into a bus which drove me to a place where I was given a quick medical examination. About an hour later I was taken to the police station in the settlement of Modi’in Illit.
Inside the settlement a soldier brought me a disgusting tuna sandwich which I could not eat. I was desperate to go to the toilet and after pleading with the soldiers multiple times they finally allowed me to use the toilet.  At around 2:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. I was suspicious of the person on the line and refused to talk to him. The interrogator spoke to the lawyer himself but not me. Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator accused me of chasing a soldier with the intention of killing him. I denied the accusation and challenged him to provide evidence.
Then the interrogator told me my friends had confessed against me. He showed me a photograph of a person and told me he had thrown a Molotov cocktail at a settler car and broke the car windows. He wanted me to give him the name of that person and I told him I did not know him. Then he threatened to lock me up in prison for three years. He raised his voice and thumped the table when I denied the accusation. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and then asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. I refused to sign. 
After the interrogation I was taken to a military court. My parents were not informed and they did not attend the hearing. My detention was extended. After court I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, but the authorities refused to admit me. Instead I was taken for more questioning by an intelligence officer at Ofer. 
The intelligence officer did not inform me of my rights and did not call a lawyer for me. He told me if I helped him he would help me. I was questioned for about 15 minutes and was not asked to sign any documents.
After the interrogation I waited for about four hours before I was finally admitted into Ofer prison. I was strip searched before being taken into the minors’ section. The other prisoners treated me well, they prepared dinner for me and sat with me to watch television. 
The following day I was taken to the military court. The military judge decided to release me on bail. My parents had to pay NIS 1,000 and I was told I would be called in to attend court hearings in the future. So far, I have not been informed of any dates for court hearings.
I was released on 14 October 2022, the day of the last hearing. I was dropped off at Ofer gate and I did not find my family. I walked all the way to a supermarket in the nearby village of Beitunia and asked the shopkeeper to call my father. My father came and we arrived home at around 7:00 p.m.