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Testimony: Ola A.


Name: Ola A.
Age: 37
Date: 17 March 2018
Location: Al Mughayyir, West Bank
Event: Night arrest

On 17 March 2018, a 17-year-old youth from Al Mughayyir is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. His mother, Ola, describes how soldiers broke open her front door before taking her son away for “a chat over a cup of coffee”.

I was asleep when I heard noises outside my bedroom window. It was around 2:30 a.m. Suddenly an Israeli soldier opened the window and looked into my bedroom. I was terrified and quickly got up and woke up my family. 
Shortly afterwards we heard loud banging at our front door and it sounded like the soldiers wanted to break down the door. My son rushed to the door and opened it before it was broken and a group of about 10 soldiers stormed into our home. They pushed my son to the ground and shouted at him. 
The soldiers then separated my 17-year-old son and pushed the rest of the family into the living room. A soldier stood by the door and prevented us from leaving. Whenever I asked a question the soldier told me to shut up and pointed his gun at me. When I asked what they were doing in my house in the middle of the night the soldier pointed his gun at me and started to count “one, two, three…” as if he was going to shoot me. I was terrified and stopped asking questions.
Then they tied my son’s hands to the back and blindfolded him and told us they were going to take him away for “a chat over a cup of coffee”. They gave my husband a document written in Hebrew which he did not understand. I wanted to object but kept quiet because I did not want them to take it out on my son. I felt I was choking seeing my son being taken away and not saying a word. 
The soldiers searched the house quickly without causing any damage but they did take a Kufiyah. Then they took our son away and left the house. All this happened in no more than 15 minutes.
I was scared and angry and I felt totally helpless. I could not sleep and I was worried about my son. I hear that the military makes attempts to recruit young boys, they tell them their case is serious and in return for going easy on them, or offering them money, the boys have to provide information. We do not feel safe in the village, anyone could be an informant. 
The house felt empty without our son. I worried about him all the time. I visited him once in prison.