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Israeli soldiers use 'Amid 'Amirah, 15, as human shield, Nablus, February 2007

'Amid 'Amirah, 15

'Amid 'Amirah

On Sunday, 25 February, around five in the morning, I woke up when I heard banging on the door of the house. My mother opened the door. We heard a stun grenade explode. My mother then came to the room where my five brothers and sisters and I were and asked us to go outside. My sister Manal left first and I followed her out. Eight soldiers were standing on the stairs of the house. Each one pushed me toward the soldier on a lower step until I got to the bottom. They did the same to my brother Ahmad, 24. In the road, there were three jeeps and a truck.

They led up to the house of our neighbor, Abu Ahmad al-Quseini. They put us in one room. The door remained open. Three soldiers and a dog stood by the door. After a short while, a soldier came into the room and called to Ahmad. He took him to one of the rooms in the house. Five minutes later, the soldier brought Ahmad back. Then he took me to the kitchen. He asked me abut my big brother 'Omar. He asked where he was. I told him that I didn't know. He asked me the same thing a few times more and hit me in the neck with his hand each time that I said I didn't know. He threatened me: "Tell me now or I'll shoot you." That night, 'Omar didn't sleep at home. That was the first time that they had come and asked about him. He then brought me back into the room. After that, they took my brother 'Arafeh, who is twelve, to one of the rooms. I heard him cry and tell him that he didn't know anything. Five minutes later, they returned him to the room. After that they took my cousin Muhammad, and he returned after 10-15 minutes.

The soldiers took me out of the room. One soldier told me to go to my house. He forced me to go first, in front of the soldiers. Two soldiers walked behind me and aimed their rifles at me. They were about fifty centimeters behind me. On the way, he asked me about my uncle's house. He told me to tell them to leave the house. I went to my uncle's house, which was around twenty meters from our house. I knocked on the door. My cousin, Samah, opened the door. I asked him to tell everybody to come outside. Everybody left the house. The soldier searched Samah and Muhammad. Then they took us to the neighbors' house, where we had been before.

Fifteen minutes later, one of the soldiers came and took me outside. I didn't know what he wanted or where they wanted me to go. I stood there, and then one of the soldiers pushed me and said, "Go home." I went into the house, and six soldiers came in after me. They aimed their weapons at me. One of them pushed me so that I would go into the house first. I went in first, and then the soldiers entered. One of them pushed me to a corner of the room, and then fired into the house. They fired 5-6 shots inside the house. They told me to go into the rooms and then they came in behind me. They ordered me to open the cabinets and take out what was there. I asked them to let me go back to my family, but the soldier told me, "Sssssh'…. You'll stay here." Then the soldiers took me to my Uncle Abu Samah's house, to open the windows. The soldiers did not enter the house with me. Later, they took me to the neighbors' house and I joined my family there. I was alone with the soldiers for about half an hour.

Ten minutes later, one of the soldiers took my cousin Samah. Half an hour later, the soldiers returned him. About fifteen minutes after Samah returned, one of the soldiers took Samah, Muhammad, and Bassem, who is the neighbors' son. They cuffed them and took them outside.

'Amid 'Iz a-Din Ahmad 'Amirah, 15, student, and a resident of the old city in Nablus.
His testimony was given to Salma a-Deb'i at the witness's house on 5 March 2007.