A man whose arrest was filmed and spread on Youtube, showing his child begging soldiers to leave his father, has been sentenced by an Israeli court to three months and a fine.The video shows Fadil al-Jabari’s four-year old son tugging on his father’s shirt and begging the soldiers not to take his daddy away. The footage is emotional and difficult to watch, as the child cries and repeatedly calls to his ‘papa’. The soldiers push the boy away and leave him on the side of the road alone as they take his father away in a military jeep.
Al-Jabari was charged with resisting arrest and striking an officer. Both of these charges are easily disproven by the video of the incident, but the video evidence was not allowed to be shown in court.
Apparently, the man was in a ‘restricted area’, trying to get clean water from a well that used to be Palestinian, but was seized by the Israeli military. Israeli authorities severely restrict access to water for the Palestinian population in the West Bank, cutting off water completely for 15 – 20 days at a time, even while Israeli settlements are able to water their lawns and swim in swimming pools.
According to local news agency Ma’an News, which interviewed Fadil al-Jabari’s mother, her 4-year old grandson has been severely traumatized by the incident, and repeatedly calls for his father. He has never had a history of behavioral problems, she said, but now, after watching the soldiers take his dad away, he has become agitated, and begun hitting his younger sister.
Palestinians say such abductions by Israeli troops are common, even leaving small children on the road without an adult, as the Israeli soldiers assume that some Palestinian will come along and help the child after the soldiers take their parent away. Israeli troops make no provisions whatsoever for the children of those whom they abduct.