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Testimony: Samaher B.


Name:  Samaher B.
Age:  36
Date:  25 September 2017
Location:  Al Arrub, West Bank
Event:  Night arrest

On 25 September 2017, a 15-year-old youth from Al Arrub refugee camp is detained by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. The boy’s mother, Samaher, describes the night raid. Samaher's house is located a few hundred metres from Route 60, a road used by settlers.

I was asleep when I heard very loud banging at our front door. It was around 2:30 a.m. My husband got up and came back and told me Israeli soldiers were at the door. He told me to stay in the bedroom because I was six months pregnant and he did not want me to get hurt. I was in such shock that I started to shiver uncontrollably. A short time later the soldiers left.
A few minutes later the soldiers came back. They told my husband he only showed them 3 out of 4 children registered in his identity card. I heard them ask my husband for our 15-year-old son.
There was a lot of commotion in the house but my husband did not want me to see and told me to stay in the bedroom. I could hear the soldiers going into my son’s bedroom and taking him away. When I heard the soldiers tell my son to put his jacket on I could not help but open the bedroom door and try to say goodbye but the soldiers did not allow me.
At this point I felt as if someone had given me a blow to my head; my worst nightmare had come true and I started to feel wobbly. When the soldiers left with my son I started to cry. The soldiers took our son away without giving us any documentation.
During the one-and-a-half months my son spent in prison I was miserable. I cried a lot but I also did my best to talk about my son to the other children as if he was still around. Whenever I cooked a dish he liked I mentioned him and told my other children how he would have loved to be with us. I blamed myself for not insisting on saying goodbye to him and giving him some advice.
I attended some of our son’s hearings in the military court. When I saw him shackled in the dock I wanted to give him a hug but the guard pushed me away. But I must say I calmed down when I saw him in court and he seemed ok. My father gave me a lot of support during this time and he helped me become stronger.
My son is not involved in anything and he wants to graduate from school with good grades. Living in a refugee camp is not easy especially for young boys. This was the first time my house was raided by soldiers and I don’t think I can find the right words to describe the fear I felt. I hope they will never come back again.