Name: Muhannad N.
Date of arrest: 16 March 2012
Location: Fayasel village, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 16 March 2012, a 15-year-old boy from Fayasel village, in the occupied West Bank, is arrested with two other boys by Israeli soldiers whilst grazing sheep close to a road used by settlers.
“At around 8:00 am, I was grazing my sheep with Adel and Sadem near the main road,” recalls 15-year-old Muhannad. “Adel threw a stone at the sheep but it landed on the road as a settler car went by. The settler stopped the car and got out with his wife. He was armed. He started shouting at us and ordered us to approach. We became very scared of him, so we approached him and forced us to sit on the ground,” says Muhannad.
A short time later three Israeli military jeeps arrived on the scene and the soldiers approached the boys. “One of them approached me, grabbed me by the hand and he and another soldier took me behind a jeep and started beating me,” recalls Muhannad. “One of them punched me hard in the face, while the other one kicked me several times and grabbed my nose so hard and kept pressing on it with one hand, and punched me twice in the face with the other one. After that, they tied my hands behind my back with a single plastic cord and tightened it up. They also blindfolded me.” Muhannad was then placed in the back of a military vehicle and made to sit on the metal floor.
The boys were first taken to a checkpoint where they were made to sit outside in the rain for approxmately one hour. “It was freezing and I began to shiver,” recalls Muhannad. An hour later the boys were taken inside a building where they stayed until around 2:00 pm. Muhannad asked to use the toilet but was told to “do it on yourself,” by one of the soldiers, who also threatened to beat the boys. At around 2:00 pm, Muhannad was placed back in a military vehicle and transferred to Ari’el settlement for interrogation. He was led into an interrogation room and his blindfold was removed, but his hands remained tied. Muhannad tried to explain to the interrogator what had happened but he was accused of lying. Following a two hour interrogation, Muhannad was transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits transfers out of occupied territory. The boys arrived at the prison at 3:00 am and were untied and strip searched. Muhannad had been tied for approximately 19 hours.
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