Testimony: Khawla E.
|Date:||15 August 2017|
|Location:||Al Jalazun, West Bank|
On 15 August 2017, a 17-year-old youth from Al Jalazun refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:45 a.m. His mother, Khawla, describes the night raid. Al Jalazun refugee camp is a few hundred metres away from the settlement of Beit El.
I haven’t been able to sleep well since my 17-year-old son was arrested. I don’t have energy during the day and I am constantly stressed. I sleep on the couch in the middle room because I worry that Israeli soldiers might enter our home and arrest my other children.
On 15 August 2017, I fell asleep on the couch at around 2:30 a.m. About 15 minutes later I woke up when I heard sounds around the house. I looked out the window and saw my brother-in-law at the door. Shortly afterwards my son’s telephone rang. It was his friend telling him that soldiers were outside our house.
I quickly woke my other children and told them to get dressed. Shortly afterwards a soldier jumped over the fence and opened the front gate. Then I heard banging at our door. My husband asked who it was and a voice said it was the army and told him to open up.
About 20 soldiers entered our home. The commander asked for my older children. Then he asked specifically for our 17-year-old son. I told him to stay where he was and went to our son’s bedroom to fetch him. I told our son that soldiers were asking for him.
As soon as the soldiers saw our son, two soldiers snatched him from me, pushed him against the wall and tied his hands behind his back with plastic ties. I tried to intervene but a soldier told me to shut up. I was scared to open my mouth because I did not want the soldiers to take it out on our son.
Then the commander took a photo of our son on his mobile phone and went outside and showed it to someone. Then he came back and asked to see our son’s identity card. He also wanted his telephone. Then he asked my daughters for their telephones.
A short while later the soldiers dragged our son out of the house. I followed after him with his shoes and a soldier shouted at me. I miraculously managed to put his shoes on. I told him not to be scared and tried to hold back my tears. I was a wreck inside but I did not want to show him how I truly felt.
Our youngest daughter, who is 7, started to cry as she saw her brother being dragged outside the house. I asked the commander to allow us to say goodbye to him and they brought him back and we managed to give him a hug and say goodbye. As soon as he was taken outside my husband started to cry. I cried too.
Young men from the camp started to throw stones at the soldiers as they left. For two nights I could not sleep. I cried and cried the whole time. My other children were terrified and constantly cried. I can feel how stressed and scared they are.
A few weeks later I attended my son’s hearing in the military court. I was very happy to see him. I managed to speak to him but I could detect weakness in his voice; god knows what he went through.