BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Video footage of a four-year-old child begging Israeli forces to release his father from detention on Monday has circulated the globe.
"You dog, give me my dad. I want daddy. I want daddy. Give me my dad," cried Khalid Fadel Al-Ja’bari, as Israeli border guards detained his father Fadel, 36 in the Al-Baq'a village east of Hebron, where Israel's Civil Administration began destroying what it described as an illegal water irrigation network. At the time, a spokesman denied forces overturned land.
Badran Jaber, the child's grandfather, told Ma'an his son-in-law was detained after objecting to Israeli bulldozers overturning fields planted with vegetables near the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement.
"The heart of the soldiers is harder than the rock. The screams of the child did not stop them from attacking his father, but they kicked the child and pulled his hands which were holding his father’s shirt," said the grandfather. Khaled, he said, has not slept since his father was detained.
The grandfather said border guards have repeatedly prevented him and other residents from accessing the 30 dunums of land, of which 18 belong to him, by deploying riot dispersal means.
Jaber, a leader of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said Israel's Civil Administration, accompanied by border guards, began destroying the irrigation network on his farmland at 9a.m. He said residents and relatives tried to stop forces, but were assaulted.
“When my 15-year-old son Wadi and my son-in-law ... Fadel, tried to defend myself and my wife, Israeli soldiers beat them before detaining them,” Jaber told Ma'an at the time.
A spokesman for Israel's Civil Administration said Monday inspectors destroyed pipes that were illegally set up and stealing water from other sources. He said no farmland was destroyed in the process.
At the time, Locals in Hebron confirmed seeing Israeli bulldozers overturn vast areas of farmland.