Israeli human rights group B'Tselem released an amateur video on Thursday, of Israeli soldiers surrounding and questioning an 8-year-old Palestinian boy in the West Bank city of Hebron.
B'Tselem, which posted the video, said the soldiers led Sufian Abu Hitah around the neighborhood to identify other boys whom they suspected of having thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at a nearby Jewish settlement.
The human rights group claimed that the boy had been out barefoot looking for a toy when he was dragged by IDF soldiers taken into military custody. The video, however, shows he was led by the soldiers. The IDF issued a statement following the incident, saying that the boy was detained after it was suspected he had thrown a Molotov cocktail.
At one point in the video, the boy is seen being led through a Hebron street surrounded by seven soldiers. Eventually, several Palestinian women approach, a shouting match ensues and they walk away with the boy.
In the video, the boy is heard telling the soldiers in Arabic, "Which boy? I don't know who he is." Later, one soldier leads him up an outside staircase of a building and they walk around the roof.
The boy's mother, Amani, told B'Tselem that she asked a soldier to return her son, but he refused. "I was really scared and worried about Sufian," she said. "I started crying and ran after the soldiers as they moved from house to house, to try and get them to let him go."
While the IDF claimed that the boy was being brought to his parents, and that the whole incident ended within ten minutes, the boy's mothers claimed that IDF soldiers refused to let him go before he identified the other boys who threw rocks and Molotov cocktails.
Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, has been a flashpoint for decades, including in the recent wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.