Date of Incident: 18 June 2012
Location: Shuweika village, West Bank
Nature of Incident: Detention
On 18 June 2012, a 16-year-old boy from the village of Shuweika, in the occupied West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at night.
Sixteen-year-old Hammam woke to a noise outside his house. “My mother came and told me that soldiers had entered the house. I got up and went to the living room where they were,” recalls Hammam. Once he was identified by his ID card, a soldier told Hammam to get dressed. “I entered my bedroom and was surprised to see soldiers standing by the windows pointing their weapons at me. I had to change my clothes in front of them. Then I went out to the living room and soldiers started shouting at me in Hebrew and pushing me towards the front door,” says Hammam. “They took me out and slammed the door.”
Once outside, Hammam recalls that “a soldier tied my hands behind my back with a single plastic tie that was so tight my hands started bleeding. He also blindfolded me. They forced me to walk for about 30 metres during which time one of them kept pushing me from behind, while another kept kicking me on my legs to knock me down. I almost fell. I complained but he shouted at me and ordered me to shut up.” Hammam was then placed on the metal floor of a vehicle for transfer. “The jeep started traveling and the soldiers did not tell me where they were taking me. They never told me why they arrested me in the first place. They were kicking me for no reason. My hands were hurting because of the plastic tie and I asked them to loosen it, but they tightened it even more,” says Hammam. “I shouted and they started laughing. I asked for some water to drink, but all I got was ‘shut the hell up, you dog son of a whore.’”
Hammam was taken to a military base where he was made to sit on the ground. He asked for some water again and was told: “come and drink from my dick,” by a soldier. About an hour later he was placed in the back of another military vehicle and transferred to a second military base. At the second base he was taken to see a military doctor who asked him some medical questions. Hammam asked the doctor for some water but his request was again refused.
Hammam was then put back in the military truck and transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. The transfer and detention of Hammam in a prison inside Israel was in violation of article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits such transfers. Hammam reports that they arrived at Megiddo prison at around 4:00 pm. At no time during this period was Hammam given anything to eat or drink. He was strip searched on arrival at the prison.
The following day, 19 June, Hammam was transferred to Salem interrogation centre, back in the West Bank. His hands and feet remained shackled during interrogation and he was not permitted to see a lawyer, or have a parent present – rights which Israeli children are generally entitled to. “The interrogation lasted five hours,” says Hammam. “He accused me of throwing stones and setting fire to tyres. He shouted at me and pounded on the table to intimidate me.” At the end of the interrogation, Hammam confessed to throwing stones. He was then shown a statement written in Arabic and told to sign it, but was not given an opportunity to read it. When Hammam asked to be able to read the statement he was supposed to sign, the interrogator said: “Stop shitting me and sign.”
26 June 2012
- Breaking the Silence - Children and Youth: Soldiers’ Testimonies 2005-2011
- Children in Military Custody - Report by a group of prominent British lawyers (June 2012)
- DCI-Palestine - Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted (April 2012)