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Testimony: Sana I.


Name:  Sana. I
Age:  42
Date:  1 February 2018
Location:  Qalqiliya, West Bank
Event:  Night arrest

On 1 February 2018, a 17-year-old youth from Qalqiliya is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:30 a.m. His mother, Sana, describes the night arrest and the impact it has had on her family. Qalqiliya is close to the Wall and a military checkpoint.

I woke up at around 3:30 a.m. to the sound of very loud banging at our front door. I was terrified and immediately woke my husband up and put my clothes on.  My husband turned the outside lights on and the Israeli soldiers outside the house went crazy; they did not want the lights on. 
When my husband opened the door about 20 soldiers stormed in and aggressively pushed him against the wall. Our 17-year-old son was so scared that he buried himself under the duvet. I tried to comfort him but to no avail. My 9-year-old son was shivering out of fear.
The commander went into our older son’s bedroom and started to look in the laundry bin for a particular T-shirt. He also looked in the wardrobe. Then he told our son he was under arrest. I was in shock when I heard the commander say this. 
When I asked for the reason for his arrest a female soldier told me to shut up. When I wanted to make sure my son was dressed properly the female soldier did not allow me to do so. The commander then ordered her to leave me alone and allowed me to help my son put on proper clothes.
Within minutes my son was whisked out of the house. The commander gave my husband a document asking him to go to the police station in the morning. I wanted to follow my son outside but the soldiers did not allow me and forced me back into the house. I went inside and burst into tears. 
Our younger boy was traumatised from this experience. His behavior changed drastically. He is tense and shows aggressive behavior and does not listen to me. There is nothing worse than soldiers raiding a home with young children present. My son beats his younger sister and shouts back at his father. I am very worried about him.
My husband went to the police station in the morning and asked to see our son but the soldier refused his request. Then a soldier showed my husband a photograph and told him our son was involved in throwing stones. When my husband denied this accusation the soldier told him he would allow him to see our son only if he confessed against him. The soldier told my husband they took stone throwing incidents very seriously and that stones thrown at soldiers and settlers are a source of worry for the state of Israel.
My sleep habits have changed after this incident. I find it hard to sleep at night and the slightest sound wakes me up.