On 19 March 2017, around midday, eight-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah was wandering barefoot outside his house in Hebron looking for a toy he had lost, when a group of at least 15 soldiers seized him. Two soldiers grabbed the boy by the arms and dragged him to the al-Harika neighborhood, where they demanded that he point out children who had allegedly thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at the Kiryat Arba settlement earlier on.
That day, Sufian’s mother, Amani Abu Hitah, was visiting her parents’ home in the neighborhood with her two youngest sons. She asked Sufian to pick his six-year-old brother Muhammad up from school and bring him to the grandparents’ house. Sufian and Muhammad arrived at about 1:30 P.M. After Sufian took off his shoes, he realized that he had lost a toy he had bought on the way. His mother, who had heard that soldiers were patrolling the neighborhood, forbade him to go outside but he sneaked out to look for the toy.
A few minutes later, children from the neighborhood came to the house and told Amani that soldiers had seized her son and were leading him toward the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba.
The soldiers then dragged Sufian onto Jabal Juhar Street, where a woman tried to pull him from their hands. Meanwhile, more women gathered around the soldiers. Eventually, more than an hour after the incident began, they managed to extricate Sufian and return him to his mother.
Two residents of the neighborhood, one of them B’Tselem volunteer May D’ana, captured the incident on video.