16 year-old Youth Against Settlements activist, Ahmad Azzeh, spends six days in jail

Ahmed al-Azzeh, 16 years old, member of Youth Against Settlements, was arrested by Israeli military on Friday, Nov 27, 2015. Below is his account of his experience.

We [members of Youth Against Settlements] were sitting outside the Center when more than 30 soldiers arrived. They looked around, pointed to me and said “come.” They searched me, and then took me to the street in front of Beit Hadassah.

They asked the other soldiers “this one?” to which they responded, “yes this one.” They asked me many questions, but I stayed silent. I did not answer. I had been trained at YAS how to behave in a nonviolent manner when being arrested. Silence is our weapon.

When the police arrived, they asked the soldiers, “where is the knife?” and the soldiers responded “there,” and picked it up from the ground. They asked me whose knife it is, and I said I didn’t know. They handcuffed and blindfolded me, then took me to the police station. From 8pm-12am, they kept me outside the station, handcuffed and blindfolded. The police took me into a room and asked me what happened. They asked me how many times I had seen that knife. I replied that I had never seen it, that I had nothing, and that I was just sitting at Issa’s house, and they took me and arrested me. They tried to scare me, but I wasn’t afraid of them. I told them to search the knife for my DNA. They told me they were going to take me to jail. I said, no problem, I know I didn’t do anything.

At 2am on Saturday, they took me to the military base in Hebron, where I was put outside and beaten by many soldiers.

On Saturday morning, they took me to Maaleh Adumim to talk to the Shabak, and then to Gush Etzion. They kept me overnight in a holding cell by myself.

The next morning, Sunday, they brought me to Ofer prison, took my clothes, and gave me the Shabas uniform.

On Monday, they took me to the court at 7am. My hearing was at 4pm. They said we had to wait until Thursday to make a decision after the DNA test comes back. They took me back to Ofer.

On Thursday, they took me back to the court. From 6-7am, I was in an empty room, alone and handcuffed. Then they took me back to the jail. An hour later, a prison guard said to me that I was “shukhrar” (released). I asked him “ata shakran?” (“are you a liar?”)

They gave me my clothes and phone back to me. Before I had a chance to call someone to come pick me up, I saw my father, brother, and Issa waiting for me. They brought me back to the YAS center, where the other activists greeted me with music and joy.

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