B’Tselem organization published on Thursday a report that includes testimonies from children detained in Israeli jails, on charges of throwing stones at soldiers, saying they were subjected to torture during their interrogation.
B’Tselem said that since November 2009, it has received testimonies from dozens of Palestinian residents of the Bethlehem and al-Khalil, most of them minors, saying that they were subjected to threats and violence, sometimes amounting to torture, during their interrogation at the police station at Gush Etzion.
The testimonies describe interrogations in which the minors were forced to confess to alleged offenses, mostly stone-throwing.
The report included the testimony of a minor, aged 14 from Husan in Bethlehem. He said “The interrogator made me go into a room. He grabbed my head and started banging it against the wall. Then he punched me, slapped me and kicked my legs. The pain was immense, and I felt like I couldn’t stand any longer.”
“Then he started swearing at me. He said filthy things about me and about my mother. He threatened to rape me, or perform sexual acts on me, if I didn’t confess to throwing stones,” the child added.
He said: “His threats really scared me, because he was very cruel and it was just the two of us in the room. I remembered what I’d seen on the news, when British and American soldiers raped and took photos of naked Iraqis.”
B’Tselem reported that until July 2013 its field researchers collected 64 testimonies from residents of eight communities in the southern West Bank who reported such incidents. “Fifty-six of them were minors at the time of their interrogation.”