10 January 2016

Allegations - throwing stones, setting a fire

Image Paralysed by two Israeli bullets

Name: T.K.A.
Age: 16
Date of incident: 13 December 2015
Location: Qaryout, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/starting fire

Testimony to Military Court Watch

On 13 December 2015, a 16-year-old youth from Qaryout was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones and starting a fire near a settlement. He is released 13 hours later without charge.

About two months before I was arrested Israeli soldiers came to our house at around 3:00 a.m. They stormed into the house in a barbaric manner after my father opened the door for them. The soldiers asked my father to wake everyone up and to bring them to the courtyard.

An Israeli intelligence officer named Rioubin was with the soldiers. He asked my father about me. The officer immediately approached me and told me he had information that I had been to the fence near the settlement and set tyres on fire. I told him this was not true. The intelligence officer then told my father he had come this time to deliver a warning.

We were all terrified because the soldiers were tense and made a point of terrifying us. They remained in the house for about 30 minutes and then left without arresting anyone. As they left the intelligence officer repeated his warning and threatened to arrest me if I didn’t stop causing trouble in the village.

About two months later, on 13 December 2015, soldiers again came to our house at around 2:00 a.m. I was still awake and heard very loud banging at the door. My father was not home so my mother answered the door. A large number of soldiers entered the house and asked my mother for me. They told my mother they had come to arrest me. They did not give my mother any documents.

The soldiers asked my mother for my father and she told them my father was working night shift. They told her they needed to take a family member with me because the commander wanted to speak to me in the presence of an adult family member. The soldiers decided to take my brother with me. My brother is one year older than me. My mother started to cry and pleaded with the soldiers not to take us away but the soldiers did not pay any attention to her.

The soldiers immediately took me and my brother outside the house where they blindfolded us and handcuffed with our hands in front with one plastic tie. The tie was tight. They led us towards the centre of the village where some jeeps were waiting. My mother and my uncle followed us and started to shout at the soldiers wanting to speak to them.

My uncle told them they could not arrest both of us just like that. (THEY DO) The soldiers told my uncle they would release my brother and then they tied my uncle’s hands with a plastic tie and blindfolded him. They told my uncle they would detain him instead of my brother.

The soldiers then took my uncle and me to a troop carrier, which drove for about 30 minutes towards the nearby military base. We were both put in a room where we waited until around 1:00 p.m. We were then both taken for interrogation.

The intelligence officer who was at our house was in the interrogation room. A soldier removed the blindfold and the ties. I was not informed of any rights. The intelligence officer reminded us that he had come to our house two months before to warn me not to cause trouble but I didn’t listen.

The intelligence officer told us he had information that I still take part in setting fire to tyres near the settlement and throwing stones. I told him this was not true and that I don’t throw stones at anyone and I don’t go near the settlement. The intelligence office became angry and started to yell at me and made gestures as if he was about to hit me, but he never did. He told my uncle he brought us there because he wanted to put an end to the trouble and that he could lock me up in prison if he wanted but he preferred not to and wanted to give me one last chance.

My uncle told the intelligence officer that it was illegal to detain us and that he personally didn’t do anything wrong so did not deserve being tied and blindfolded. The intelligence officer responded by saying he had information that I set fire to tyres near the settlement on Monday. My uncle told the officer this could not be true because on Monday I was at my uncle’s house all day. The intelligence office then said other boys from the village testified against me. When I challenged him to confront me with these boys he became angry again and started to swear at me. He called me son of a whore and accused me of being rude because I interrupted him.

The intelligence officer was typing on his computer as he questioned me and kept saying he wanted to give me one last chance and that if I didn’t behave myself he was going to lock me and my father up in prison. He did not print anything out and did not ask me to sign any documents.

At the end of the interrogation my uncle and me were re-tied and taken to a room where we waited until around 3:00 p.m. We were then taken to a jeep which dropped us off at a nearby road intersection. My uncle and I took a taxi home.