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Testimony: S.M.S.O.


Name: S.M.S.O.
Age: 16
Date: 3 July 2017
Location: Kafr Qaddum, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 3 July 2017, a 16-year-old youth is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 5:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He is released on bail of NIS 1,500 due to insufficient evidence on 12 July 2017 after 9 days in detention. 

I woke up at around 5:00 a.m. to the sound of banging on the front door. My father answered and a group of Israeli soldiers entered our house and told my father they wanted to arrest me and my younger brother.
My father told the commander I was not feeling well because I had an injury and my arm was in plaster. The commander told my father I could take my medicine with me. Then he told me and my brother to prepare ourselves and then immediately took us outside the house. The soldiers did not give us any written documents and did not tell us the reason for my arrest or where they were going to take me.
Once outside the soldiers tied my hand to my brother’s hand with a plastic tie which was not painful. They also blindfolded me. We were then taken to the back of the jeep where I sat on a seat while my brother sat on the floor. The jeep drove for about five minutes to a nearby settlement.
On arrival at the settlement my brother and I were taken to a shipping container where they removed the blindfold and a doctor examined me. He checked my arm but did not say anything. Then I was blindfolded again. I was left inside the shipping container with my brother for about an hour.
After an hour me and my brother were taken back to the jeep which drove for about 30 minutes to the police station in Ariel settlement. At Ariel I was put in a courtyard with my brother where we remained for about four hours. After four hours and interrogator cut off the tie and took me for interrogation.
Before he started to question me, the interrogator contacted a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent and not to sign any documents. Then the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and showed me a picture and told me it was a picture of me throwing stones. I denied the accusation. I was questioned for about 30 minutes. Then the interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused to sign because I did not understand what was written in it.
After the interrogation I was taken back to the courtyard where I remained for another two hours. Then I was taken to a jeep together with my brother and we were tied together again and blindfolded. The jeep took us to Huwwara military base.
On arrival at Huwwara the tie was cutoff and the blindfold removed and then I was strip searched. They told me to crouch up and down while naked and I felt embarrassed. At first I refused to take off my clothes but I was scared they might beat me if I didn’t. I spent a night at Huwwara.
The following day soldiers shackled and handcuffed me and I was taken to Salem military base. I waited in a room for about an hour. Then I was driven to Afula hospital but I was never taken inside the hospital, I just waited outside in the vehicle. Then I was taken back to Salem, where I waited in a room before being taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel. I arrived at Megiddo at around 10:00 p.m. and I was without food or drink all this time.
At Megiddo I was searched in my clothes and then I was taken to the juvenile section.
The following day I was taken to Salem military court. My parents did not attend the hearing but a lawyer was there and the hearing was adjourned. My parents attended the next hearing and my lawyer was able to prove that the person in the picture the interrogator showed me was not me and the judge decided to release me on bail. My parents had to sign a document guaranteeing I won’t be involved in any actions that would lead to my arrest and had to pay 1,500 shekels bail. After the hearing I was taken back to Megiddo.
I was released at Al Jalama checkpoint on 12 July 2017 at around 6:00 p.m. and I went home with my parents.