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Testimony: Leila A.


Name: Leila A.
Age: 35
Date: 10 August 2017
Location: Tuqu', West Bank
Event: Night arrest

On 10 August 2017, a 15-year-old youth from Tuqu is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 1:00 a.m. His mother, Leila, describes the night raid. The village of Tuqu is located approximately 1 kilometre from the Israeli settlement of Teqoa. 

I went to bed at around midnight but my children stayed up because there was news that the Israeli military were in our village. 
About an hour later my husband woke me up and told me there were soldiers in the neighbourhood. I looked out of the window and saw about 25 soldiers in our street. 
Shortly afterwards I heard banging on our neighbours’ door downstairs. I also heard one of the soldiers ask where our son lives. Then the soldiers came upstairs to our apartment. My husband opened the door and about 12 soldiers entered our home. They were all wearing face masks except for two soldiers. They were also accompanied by a female soldier.  
The soldiers asked our two sons for their names and then told our 15-year-old son that he was under arrest. They gave us a form filled out in Hebrew which we could not understand. My son asked why they wanted to arrest him and the commander told him he would soon find out at the police station. 
We were all scared especially our 7-year-old daughter. The female soldier took pictures of all of us without saying why. Then within 10 minutes the soldiers took my son away and left the house. They did not search the house and did not cause any damage. 
After the soldiers left I started to cry. I was left with a deep sense of fear and emptiness. Our neighbours came to our house to console us but nothing could lift my spirits. 
We later found out that another boy had given a confession against our son. We knew the name of the boy but we did not speak to him or his family. This happens all the time in our village and it is a source of tension and mistrust, even amongst neighbours and friends.
The house felt empty without our son. He was the one who brought liveliness into our home with his lovely sense of humour. I was in distress and could not cope psychologically with his absence. 
In recent weeks dozens of young boys have been arrested. The soldiers want to teach them a lesson they will never forget. They want to scare the hell out of young children so that they don’t cause them any troubles in the future.