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Testimony: I.J.S.J.


Name: I.J.S.J.
Age: 16
Date: 18 August 2017
Location: Kafr Qaddum, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 18 August 2017, a 16-year-old youth from Kafr Qaddum is detained by Israeli soldiers at 5:30 p.m. on his way to the shops during weekly protests. He is accused of throwing stones and setting fire to tyres but is released without charge 4 hours later.

Our house is located near an area where weekly protests take place against the occupation. On the day of my arrest I was on my way to the shop to buy some groceries at around 5:30 p.m. An Israeli military jeep pulled over and I did not run away.
The soldiers stepped out and asked me to put my hands up and to bend over the jeep because they wanted to search me. Then they asked to see my hands to check whether I had dirt from throwing stones or setting tyres on fire. My hands were dirty because I touched the jeep and I was worried they would think I was involved.
When the commander saw my hands he accused me of throwing stones and setting tyres on fire but I told him I was at home during the protest and I did not take part. I showed him where I lived.
The commander did not believe me and continued to question me. He wanted to know why I threw stones at soldiers and why I set tyres on fire. I told him I did not throw stones or set tyres on fire.
By this time my father tried to intervene but the soldiers did not allow him close. Then the soldiers tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties, one inside the other. The ties were not painful. Then they took me to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat and a soldier took a picture of me on his mobile phone. The jeep drove outside the village and then stopped.
I was taken out of the jeep and another commander, who recognised me, told the soldiers to un-tie my hands. He knows me because he often comes to monitor the neighbourhood during protests from our roof top. Then he took me aside and started to question me. He told me he really wanted to release me but he needed my help first. When I asked what kind of help he needed he told me he wanted me to give him names of the boys who throw stones at soldiers. I told him I could not help him because I did not know any boys who throw stones.
The commander then told me not to rush an answer and to take my time to think. He told me to sit on the rock and seriously think about my answer because he really wanted to release me. I told him I did not want to sit on the rock because I did not want to help anyone.
The commander left me for about 15 minutes and then again asked me for the names of boys who throw stones. I told him I did not know any boys who throw stones. He then sarcastically asked how I can live in Kafr Qaddum and not know the boys. I was kept there for about four hours. Then my father came and took me home.