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This Is The Moment A Palestinian Activist Said Goodbye To Her Son After She Was Arrested By The Israeli Army

Lama Khater, a Palestinian writer and activist, was detained by the IDF in the middle of the night.

Posted on July 24, 2018, at 1:10 p.m. ET

A Palestinian writer and activist was detained by members of the Israeli army late Monday night, with images of her saying goodbye to her son spreading rapidly online.

Basem Khater / Twitter

Lama Khater, 42, is a writer and activist who lives in Hebron, in the West Bank. This is her 3-year-old son, Yehya.


A well-known journalist in the Palestinian territories, she is known for her criticism of Israel and the treatment of Gaza.

The photos were taken by her daughter, Besan, who confirmed the news, writing on Facebook: “Occupation forces just arrested my mother from her house.”

Besan Khater / Facebook

She also quoted a verse from the Qur’an, writing late Monday night: “Those to whom hypocrites said, indeed the people have gathered against you, so fear them. But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, sufficient for us is Allah, and [he is] the best disposer of affairs.”

Local media reports state that members of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) entered her home at around 2 a.m. local time last night and detained her.

A spokesperson for the IDF told BuzzFeed News: “Last night, a Palestinian suspected of being involved in Hamas terror activity was apprehended in Hebron. The suspect was transferred to security forces for further questioning.”

Khater was among at least 14 people arrested by IDF soldiers that night, according to Palestinian media.

Basem / Twitter

Online, people were appalled at the separation, and the images showing the moment.

Zoheb Khan / Twitter

Many people tweeted under a hashtag, #لمى_خاطر, or Lama Khater, expressing their anger and calling for her release.

Mohamad Nashwan / Twitter

“The moment the Israeli occupation army arrested the Palestinian writer #LamaKhater at dawn, [with] the soldiers around her with their weapons and their equipment, embracing her child and recommending patience, she doesn't know when she will return to him.

“God be with us.”

Love Liberty / Twitter

“I was reading the notes of the Palestinian writer and militant, and I did not know that they #LamaKhater lived inside the occupied homeland, specifically in the city of Hebron.

“Dawn today, enemy soldiers, armed even to the teeth, stormed their house and kidnapped her from among her children. Here she is saying goodbye to her little child with the tenderness of the mother and the determination of the mujahideen in the land Rabat.”

Some people made a link between US President Donald Trump's decision to separate immigrant families and what they were seeing here.

Dima / Twitter

They also shared cartoons of the moment Khater was forced to say goodbye to her son.

Munzer al-Awad contributed to this report.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.