Testimony - Fardos B.
|Location:||Deir Nidham, West Bank|
|Date:||27 March 2013|
A mother describes how on 27 March 2013, Israeli soldiers enter a house in the village of Deir Nidham at 1:30 a.m. and arrest a 16-year-old boy.
“I was unable to sleep when at around 1:30 a.m. I looked out the kitchen window and saw the lights of an Israeli army jeep at the entrance to our village. I always keep an eye on the road, watching army vehicles and wondering what they might be up to. I woke my husband up and alerted him. About 30 minutes later I heard very loud banging at our front door. I was shaken. Then I heard soldiers speaking to my brother-in-law who lives with his family on the ground floor. My son Dia, my sister and my mother, who were staying with us at the time, woke up frightened. Minutes later the soldiers came to our front door.”
“About 10 soldiers, some of whom were masked, entered our house and started to search. They didn’t tell us what they were looking for. Some went up to the roof and looked around the water tanks and the solar heater. They asked my husband about our children and when he mentioned Dia’s name the Commander told him he wanted to take Dia for questioning and would return him in a couple of hours. They didn’t tell us what they were going to question him about. Then they ordered all of us to get out of the house. They tied Dia’s hands to the front with one plastic tie and led him out of the house. I followed and asked them not to take Dia but they didn’t listen to me. I was trembling out of fear and my knees could no longer hold me. I collapsed and sat on the stairs and watched as Dia was taken away. I felt my heart was about to stop beating. I felt completely helpless and terrified.”
“I didn’t sleep that night; we were all shaken. I kept looking out the window hoping that they might bring Dia back as they said they would but they never came. Each passing car gave me some hope until it disappeared into the darkness. I was worried that they might beat Dia or hurt him during the questioning and prayed for his safety. He is a quiet boy and likes to play football and is doing well at school. He had a science exam the following day which he missed.”
“For two days we heard nothing. We didn’t know where he was until Friday when he managed to call us from Ofer prison, using a smuggled phone. He spent four days in detention and was released without charge. I never expected that he might be targeted; I find it strange that they came after someone like Dia. I think they wanted to send us a message that no one is safe and to keep us frightened all the time so that we don’t think about anything else.”
“We were not informed about Dia’s release so we were not there to take him home. I was so happy when he arrived at around 11:00 p.m. He looked tired and bewildered. He didn’t tell me he was beaten until a few days later. He told me soldiers kicked and slapped him and the interrogator wanted him to confess against other children. Since his release, Dia stays home when soldiers are around.”
“This is how life is in our village. Every other night a house is raided and a person is arrested. An army vehicle often patrols the entrance to the village, sets up a checkpoint and prevents people from going in and out. Sometimes early in the morning when children are going to school, sometimes in the afternoon when people come back from work. I find it hard to fall asleep at night and when I do, I wake up to the slightest sound around the house. I am constantly worried about what might happen next. All this is because of an Israeli settlement has been built a few hundred metres away and because of the road that connects it to other settlements. I don’t see an end to troubles as long as the settlement is there.”