Name: Mahmoud S.
Date of arrest: 10 March 2012
Location: Azzun village, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones and Molotov cocktails
On 10 March 2012, a 17-year-old boy from Azzun village, in the occupied West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers near a road used by settlers.
At around 7:00 pm, on 10 March, 17-year-old Mahmoud was with two friends by a road near their village that is used by Israeli settlers. Two Israeli military jeeps stopped and soldiers got out and started chasing the boys. The soldiers caught Mahmoud who reports that he was beaten. “A soldier caught me and knocked me down,” says Mahmoud. “Then, at least 12 soldiers started beating me hard while I was still on the ground. They kept slapping and kicking me. One of them hit me with his rifle. Then, one of them pulled me up hard, twisted my hands behind my back and tied them with three plastic cords […] the cords were very tight.” Once he was tied, Mahmoud says that the soldiers continued to beat him until his mouth and nose were bleeding. He was then blindfolded and placed in a military vehicle.
“Then, one of them pushed me violently inside the jeep and kept me lying on the metal floor. There were soldiers surrounding me inside the jeep. They kept kicking me and insulting me using very obscene words that I do not want to mention. They insulted my mother and my sister,” recalls Mahmoud, who was transferred to Ari’el settlment for questioning.
Mahmoud estimates that he arrived at the settlement at around 11:00 pm. He was then made to sit in a corridor, still tied and blindfolded, for approximately one hour, during which time he reports being slapped and kicked by people passing by. At around midnight, Mahmoud was taken to a room for interrogation. Although interrogating children at night is prohibited under Israeli civilian law, the practice is not prohibited under military law which is applied to Palestinian children. Mahmoud’s blindfold was removed but he remained tied. Mahmoud says the interrogator shouted at him and slapped him across the face during the interrogation. He was accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. The interrogation lasted until 7:00 am at which point Mahmoud confessed to throwing stones.
Following the interrogation, Mahmoud was transferred to the settlement of Qarne Shomron where he was given a brief medical check. Mahmoud says that he told the doctor that he had been beaten but he was not given any treatment. The doctor simply asked Mahmoud a number of questions from a list he was holding. Mahmoud was then transferred to Huwwara interrogation centre, near the city of Nablus. On arrival the soldiers wanted to strip search Mahmoud, who refused to strip, and was then beaten. Later that day he was transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits transfers out of occupied territory.
For further information see: DCI-Palestine – “Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention” and B’Tselem: “No Minor Matter: Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors Arrested by Israel on Suspicion of Stone-Throwing”
20 March 2012