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Testimony: M.Y.J.S.


Name: M.Y.J.S.
Age: 15
Date: 10 July 2017
Location: Sabastiya, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing fireworks/laser

On 10 July 2017, a 15-year-old youth is arrested by Israeli soldiers at an archaeological site and accused of pointing a laser and throwing fireworks at Israeli settlers in the area. He is released without charge 7 hours later after being threatened with a gun. 

At around 9:00 p.m. I went for a walk with some friends near the archeological site where we always go. I suddenly saw some figures in a nearby olive grove and I quickly realised it was a group of Israeli soldiers. The soldiers yelled at us and started to chase us and we all scattered. The soldiers were faster than me and caught me.
A soldier slapped and kicked me and two other soldiers held me by my arm and searched me. Then they tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was very tight. They also blindfolded me and kept me in the area for about 30 minutes.
My uncle came to the area when he heard I had been detained and stood at a distance and called my name. I answered and told him I was detained. One soldier was very upset and slapped me on the face and hand. My uncle came closer to the soldiers and started to talk to them. The soldiers told him they saw me pointing a laser light at the settlers who were visiting the area and throwing fireworks in their direction.
The soldiers did not tell my uncle where they were going to take me. Shortly afterwards a military doctor examined me and then I was taken to the back of a military jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes and then stopped at a place I did not recognise.
I was taken to a room and the soldiers removed the tie and the blindfold. A commander started to question me without informing me of my rights. He removed the blindfold and wanted to know why I threw fireworks at settlers and aimed a laser light at them. I told him we were playing with each other and did not do anything wrong. Then he wanted to know who else was with me. I told him I did not know who the other boys were because I had never met them before. The commander was angry and started to shout and bang the door and then he slapped me on the shoulder. He questioned me while I was standing.
He then told me I had better confess or I would be in "trouble" if I did not. He then cocked his gun, went on his knees and aimed his gun in my face. I was terrified because I thought he was going to shoot me. Then he made me sit on a chair and removed the tie and then tied my hands to the front. The tie was very tight and painful. Then he took me outside and made me sit on a chair. He then called someone and asked me to speak to him. He told me the person was an intelligence officer.
The intelligence officer spoke to me in Arabic and asked me for my name and address. When I told him my name he accused me of lying and threatened if I did not tell my real name he was not going to release me.
Then I was examined by a doctor who asked me some questions in Hebrew and I told him I did not understand his questions. He then gave me a questionnaire in Arabic to fill out with some questions about my health. The document also said I was not subjected to physical abuse during arrest. The doctor wanted me to sign the document but I refused to sign because it was false.
Then I was taken to another room where I sat on a chair and a soldier guarded me. I asked to use the toilet but he did not allow me. Then he took me outside and wanted me to pee while he was watching and I refused.
After a while I was taken to a jeep which drove me to the Tulkarm junction which is about 5 km away from my village. A soldier cut off the tie and I was released. It was around 4:00 a.m. It was dark and I was scared because I know there are wild boars in the area. I walked a short distance then I stopped a car which drove me home. I arrived home at around 5:00 a.m.