I was a 17-year-old minor when Israeli forces entered my house, blindfolded, physically assaulted, and arrested me.
It began like most night arrests. Israeli soldiers entered my house at 2 AM. They bounded, blindfolded, and physically assaulted me. They searched my house and arrested me without any warrant.
I was not informed of the reason for my arrest.
My name is Laith. I was a 17-year-old minor when this happened.
I live in Ramallah on the West Bank of the land called Palestine.
Over the next 11 hours, I was transferred to multiple locations and interrogated about throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.
Throwing stones is a security offence under Israeli military law.
I was presented to multiple courts but they never charged me for any crime.
They released me after 46 weeks of detention.
I missed my final year of high school.
I was never told why I was being arrested.
I have never presented a warrant.
I also want to tell you that I am not the only minor who was illegally imprisoned or more correctly kidnapped by the Israeli military.
10,000 Palestinian minors have been arrested and held in the Israeli military detention system since 2000.
In the month of April only, Israeli forces arrested 1,228 Palestinians in April, including 156 minors and 11 women, and Palestinian prisoners’ support organizations.
We are tortured and humiliated in Israeli prisons.
We are bullied to get confessions.
Denied water when we are thirsty.
Denied enough food.
Denied free and fair trial.
We are denied our basic rights.
I want to tell you that we are separated from my parents, tortured, harassed, denied education, and denied the right to a fair trial.
Every year, Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts.
And the world is silent.
And western countries like Canada which support Israel financially and morally have a critical role in our persecution.
This story has been reconstructed in first-person narrative from mainstream Palestinian media and human rights reports. Written by Tazeen Hasan.
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