Middle East

Palestinian child killed by Israeli fire in West Bank

Khwal (C), the mother of Palestinian boy Khalil al-Anati, whom medics said was killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers, mourns as she is comforted during his funeral in the West Bank city of Hebron August 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

HEBRON, Palestine: An 11-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli troops in a refugee camp in the southern West Bank Sunday, relatives and Palestinian medics said.

The Israeli military confirmed its troops had opened fire in response to a “violent riot” and said an investigation into the boy’s death was underway.

Khalil Mohammad al-Anati had been playing outside his home at one end of Al-Fawwar refugee camp, southwest of the flashpoint city of Hebron, when an Israeli unit moved into the area, his uncle told AFP.

“We don’t know what they [the Israelis] were doing,” said Youssef al-Anati, crying, his shirt soaked in blood after carrying his nephew to hospital. “Khalil was playing in front of the house, then we heard gunfire. The kid was screaming and fell down.

“He was shot in the back and the bullet exited through his stomach.”

A medical official confirmed the boy’s death.

“A violent riot erupted earlier today during an activity in Al-Fawwar. Forces opened fire toward main instigators, identifying a hit,” the Israeli army said in a statement.

“Initial indications suggest that unfortunately, a Palestinian boy was killed by the fire,” it added. An investigation was underway and the circumstances of the shooting were being reviewed, it said.

Dozens of relatives and people gathered outside the morgue where the child’s body was taken.

The shooting followed two consecutive days of clashes in the West Bank between Israeli troops and Palestinians protesting against Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza.

On Saturday, 15 Palestinians were wounded in Hebron when troops dispersed stone-throwers with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and live fire after the funeral of a Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli forces at a protest Friday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah says 16 Palestinians have been killed during a series of almost daily protests across the West Bank against Israel’s assault on Gaza.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 11, 2014, on page 9.




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