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Testimony: Taghrid A.


Name: Taghrid A.
Age: 39
Date: 24 August 2017
Location: Aida camp, West Bank
Event: Night arrest

On 24 August 2017, a 15-year-old youth from Aida refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. His mother, Taghrid, describes the night raid. Aida refugee camp is adjacent to the Wall and a number of military watchtowers. 

I woke up with a torch shinning in my face. It was 3:00 a.m. I opened my eyes and saw about 10 Israeli soldiers in my bedroom. I could not believe my eyes and I was terrified. The soldiers had quietly opened the front door with a device and entered our home without us knowing. 
At first, I thought they had mistakenly entered our house but when they started to search I realised it was no mistake.
All of our children woke up. Our youngest daughter, who is 3-years-old, was terrified. The commander pointed to our 15-year-old son and told us he wanted to arrest him. He did not say why or for how long and did not give us any documents. 
The commander tried to calm us down and said he would protect our son and make sure he was not hurt. I later found out in the military court that the commander himself had beaten our son.
The soldiers continued to search our house without telling us what they were looking for. One soldier deliberately broke the mirror in my bedroom with his gun and caused dents to the doors. They took everything out of the wardrobes. Then a soldier broke the door to our son’s bedroom. He also cocked his gun and told me to thank god he did not have any bullets in his gun. I was terrified.
The soldiers remained inside our home for about an hour. Then they allowed us to say goodbye to our son. One soldier told our sone that he would never see me again as he gave me a hug. Then they tied his hands behind his back with plastic ties, blindfolded him and took him away. I looked at our son and I could tell he was about to burst into tears but he was trying to be strong. He looked as if he was choking. Still, he managed to tell me not to worry about him.
Our neighbours came to our house when the soldiers were gone. They wanted to be with us to calm us down but I could not get rid of the deep sense of loss and sadness. For two days we did not know anything about our son. We did not know where he was detained and for what reason. They were the longest two days of my life.
Israeli soldiers enter our refugee camp on a daily basis. They fire tear gas and stun grenades. They deliberately provoke us in order to make arrests at night and then young boys confess to anything when they are beaten and sleep-deprived. This is the cycle of our daily lives and it does not look like it is going to end anytime soon.