In a testimony made through his lawyer to the Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners Affairs, Palestinian teenage prisoner Mahmoud Thawabteh revealed details about the difficult conditions inside Israeli prisons.
Thawabteh, 17, was arrested from his house in Beit Fajjar in eastern Bethlehem when Israeli occupation soldiers stormed the neighborhood at dawn, the boy’s lawyer told the Committee.
According to the testimony, Thawabteh was harshly interrogated in the street, before army dogs were unleashed at him.
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The boy revealed that he was brutally beaten and he had several dog bites on his legs.
“They beat me up on my head and back using their rifles and sticks”, Thawabteh said, as reported in Quds News Network.
After a harrowing journey in an Israeli army jeep, the teenage boy was taken to the notorious Etzion interrogation center, where dozens of Palestinian minors were held and reportedly tortured over the years.
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Conveying Thawabteh’s testimony, his lawyer went on to say that the teenager was allowed to see a doctor just before his interrogation commenced. However, the Israeli doctor did little to stop the bleeding or to treat the bruises and bite marks, aside from taking Thawabteh’s blood pressure.
Thawabteh was held in the Etzion facility for three days, during which he was interrogated, assaulted, and beaten repeatedly, before being moved to the Ofer military jail, near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.
On January 13, Thawabteh was one of 34 Palestinian minors who were relocated from the Ofer prison to the Damon prison, inside Israel, without being accompanied by their adult overseers, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
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Commenting on that experience, Thawabteh told his lawyer that the children were placed in a squalid section of the prison that was infested with insects. They were left largely alone, as the Israeli prison guards refused to provide them with basic services or needs.
The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Samidoun had reported earlier that “every year, around 700 Palestinian children are brought before Israeli military courts after being arrested, detained and interrogated.”
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“The vast majority report some form of torture and abuse, including kicking and beating in military jeeps as well as psychological torture during interrogation, including threats to arrest family members.”
(The Palestine Chronicle)