Skip to main content

Israeli army detains Palestinian journalist Lama Khater in dawn raid

Pictures of Khater embracing her three-year-old son before being taken away by Israeli soldiers have gone viral

Palestinian journalist Lama Khater embraces her son before her arrest by Israeli soldiers in Hebron on Tuesday (Social media)

The Israeli army arrested Palestinian journalist and writer Lama Khater, along with 13 other Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Palestinian media reported.

A statement by the Israeli army said 14 “wanted” Palestinians were detained on Tuesday over charges of alleged "hostile" activities against Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Israeli soldiers stormed Khater’s house in the southern West Bank city of Hebron at dawn, according to her daughter, and took her to an undisclosed location.

Nizar Shehada, a former Palestinian prisoner and Hamas official, was also detained in the Hebron raid, according to Palestinian media.

Khater is a freelance journalist and writer with over 87,000 followers on Twitter.

In her most recent writings, she criticised the closure of the Israeli and Egyptian crossings to Gaza, accusing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of collaborating with Israel to “suffocate Gaza into submission”.

In her last tweet, she condemned Israeli control over the Al-Aqsa Mosque in annexed East Jerusalem, saying: “As long as they call it the Temple Mount, and as long as they constantly break into it with large numbers, and as long as the Muslims do not enjoy full freedom of access and prayers in it, in practice the Aqsa Mosque will soon to be exclusively Jewish.”

Pictures of Khater, a mother of five, embracing her three-year-old son before leaving with Israeli soldiers in the early hours of Tuesday have gone viral on social media, with a hashtag calling for her release.

Translation: You will not shut our voices from revealing your true image to the whole world. Israel arrests writer Lama Khater. It was not enough for [Israel] to ratify the ‘Nation-State’ law; it was not enough for it to attack our people; it arrested the pen by arresting Lama Khater, the daughter of Hebron.

Palestinian journalist Feras Abu Helala tweeted: “She walked into her jail and didn’t look back. How could a woman with her strength grant her enemy [a picture it could use as] a sign of triumph?”

“An army against a woman,” said Egyptian Al Jazeera journalist Hossam Yehia, commenting on a picture that showed seven Israeli soldiers arresting Khater.

Radwan al-Akhras, a Palestinian author, commented on the pictures saying: “In the darkness, like thieves, they broke into the house and kidnapped the mother from her children.”

According to Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer, at least 5,900 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of June, 60 of whom were women and girls.

Just a day earlier, Israeli forces killed 15-year-old Arkan Mizher during an overnight raid in the Bethlehem-area Dheisheh refugee camp.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.