STORIES: A.S.

In December 2010, we met A. S., then a 13-year-old boy, and heard from him about his arrest and mistreatment by the Israeli Police.

❝At 4 am, we heard a loud knock at the door. We didn’t think they were coming to arrest anyone, we thought they were coming to demolish our house, as we have a pending demolition order.

❝My father called out, asking who it was. The soldiers identified themselves and said they were coming to arrest ‘Hamada’.

❝Without opening the door, my father replied, that they had the wrong house; there was no Hamada here.

❝They told him to open the door, and also told him [to] name his sons... and if he didn’t do it, they would throw tear gas into the house.

❝My father began naming us one by one, and when he came to my name, the soldiers told him to stop. They said that I had been throwing stones, and they wanted to take me away.

❝I don’t know exactly how many... but there must have been at least six jeeps, maybe eight… and it seemed like there were hundreds of them: police, undercover police and special forces.

❝They came in and I was pulled from my bed, they didn’t even let me put my clothes or shoes on… they cuffed my hands, and took me away barefoot, wearing only pajamas.

❝Altogether, we were six kids arrested that morning. They did not let my parents ride with me; by father followed after us...

❝When we got to the police station, they took me to Room number 4, and someone questioned me… he wanted me to admit that I had thrown stones that day.

❝At first, I wouldn’t admit to anything. Whenever I looked away, he slapped me. He kept asking me, and I kept denying.

❝He kept blowing cigarette smoke into my eyes. He grabbed my shoulder and squeezed hard, then threw me hard against a wall; my nose began to bleed.

❝I asked for tissue paper to wipe my nose, but he didn’t give me any. Afterwards, someone else did.

❝Then he told me to kneel down; I replied that I only kneel to The Creator. He kicked my right inner thigh.

❝As I sat there, they toasted bread and cheese. They asked if I was hungry, and threw some of the hot cheese on my arm. All along they told me that I had only to admit that I had thrown stones, and they would let me go.

❝In the end, I just wanted to go home, so I admitted to throwing only one stone.

❝“One stone, or more?” they asked, I replied, “no, only one stone.” They asked again, “not even a second stone?” I insisted that it was only one stone.

❝They wanted to know if others had thrown stones with me; I told them I was alone. Finally they took my fingerprints and had me sign some papers — I don’t know what was written there as they were in Hebrew. Afterwards, they let my father take me home.❞

Kathryn ShihadahComment