Israeli Police Illegal Arrest and Interrogation Fail to Pin Firebombing on 13- and 12-Year-Old Jewish Boys (Video)
Those of us who live in democratic societies have grown to see the limits placed on our naturally exuberant police forces as essential components of our civil freedoms. We know a person may not be interrogated without his or her attorney being present. We know a person must be arraigned and charged with a crime, or be set free. We know a minor may not be interrogated without his or her parent present.
Not in the wild-west territory of Judea and Samaria, where police is more likely to be brutal than not, especially to Jewish “settlers” (Hebrew for Pariah) and definitely not regarding Jewish boys of bar mitzvah age and younger.
Every week, it seems, we are treated to new evidence of Israel’s security forces in the “territories” appearing to merge with the Arab regime police forces all around us, employing brute force, intimidation, illegal incarceration and the occasional physical torture, because, frankly, they’ve run out of other ways to solve crimes.
A case in point is the recent testimony of two young teens, one 12, the other 13, who testified on video which was published by HaKol HaYehudi (The Jewish Voice).
At the end of last week, three young teens from Bat Ayin were released after spending six days in prison on suspicion of firebombing an Arab taxi, injuring six Arabs.
All three children withstood extremely difficult conditions and especially long interrogations, accompanied with threats and sophisticated tactics, utilizing relentless psychological pressure.
13-year-old M. told HaKol HaYehudi about the investigation methods employed by the Police Central Unit (Yamar) and the General Security Service (Shabak).
M. and his friends were on their way to Jerusalem Sunday morning, last week.
“At the Gush intersection (a hitchhiking post), a car stopped to give us a ride to Jerusalem. Two of us got in; the third boy wanted to get in too, but the driver said that he would only agree to take two. The driver and his wife started talking to us about ‘Price Tag’ (the clandestine retaliation movement against the left-wing and Arabs) and whether it was a good thing or not,” M. related.
“The driver turned on the radio and it was someone talking about ‘Price Tags’ and that we have to burn down mosques during the day, with the Arabs still inside, and that he tried to join the Price Tag movement and they wouldn’t agree with him. It seemed very strange, but we didn’t understand what was going on,“ M. described.
“When the radio piece was over, the driver started asking us who threw the firebomb, and that of course we knew who it is.” M. answered that he and his friend had no idea who did it.
The two children still didn’t realize that the innocent “hitch” was a actually a police trap.
“We reached Kiryat Moshe and asked to get out, but the driver said that he would pull over for us at a stop further down the road. When we got to that stop, the driver said that it’s illegal to stop at the bus stop and there’s an increased fine for it, so he would stop after the next turn. He stopped after the turn and two detectives immediately jumped on us and told us that we were under arrest for suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime.”
After several days under arrest, M. was led near the interrogation room when he suddenly heard loud shouts.
“I saw the driver of the car that we hitchhiked in, handcuffed inside the interrogation room, with a detective shouting at him, ‘what did you talk about with them during the ride? We already know everything about you!’ and stuff like that. I heard him tell the detective that he knows me only because he picked me up one day at the Gush intersection and that he has no connection to us.”
“After that, I was put into a holding cell and suddenly they put him in too. He started shouting at me: ‘What did you do? I am a married man and I don’t want to get involved in problems.’”
The investigating police officer then started to shout at M. that he and his friends must tell the detectives what they did in order to get the man released to his family.
“I didn’t really pay attention to him, so they took him out and I didn’t see him again,” said M.
“A detective and special riot police force officer came to my house and said that I am under arrest for questioning in Maale Adumim,” 12 year old A. described his arrest. “They caught me by the hands and put me in a police car that took me to the Judea and Samaria station in Maale Adumim.”
“The interrogations went on for 9 hours straight. They asked me if I was present at the incident and if I knew who did it.”
A. remained silent throughout the exhausting interrogations. Only after he was allowed to speak with a lawyer from Honenu, did he present his alibi.
As part of the attempt to apply psychological pressure, the children were shown pictures of the Arab victims, some of them badly burnt. A. was also taken to the entrance of the hospital where the victims are hospitalized.
Two of the boys were even taken to the scene of the incident in order to recreate the crime, however they refused to participate with the detectives, denying any connection to the incident.
“When they took me to reconstruct the crime, I asked Shmulik Piamenta (commander of the Judea and Samaria police interrogation unit) to call my father to come because we were very close to our settlement,” A. related.
“Piamenta told me that my father was just on his way to the station. Afterwards, I spoke with my father and he said that he was at home. At this point, I understood that Piamenta was lying to me and that I cannot believe this person,” described A.
According to M., when he asked to speak with Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, the interrogating officers “innocently” claimed that they had never heard of the organization and that they don’t know Kedar, whom they had been working against for over 20 years.
“During the interrogation, they told me that my friends confessed to everything and that because I wasn’t talking, I would wind up with 20 years in jail,” said M. “That’s how they shouted and threatened me for seven hours.”
“They tell you that they know everything about you, but in reality they just know a few details and blow it up as if they know a lot,” said 13-year-old M., whose five days of exhausting interrogations taught him a thing or two about behavior under police interrogation. “You have to remain silent because if you are silent, you will get out quicker.”
A. concluded with words of appreciation for the Honenu employees and attorneys Adi Kedar and David Levi who represented him, as well as to all the friends who came to the hearings to show support.
“It’s better not to contact anyone or talk to anyone,” he imparted his newly acquired wisdom. “Just listen the Honenu lawyers and to God.”
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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