An 11-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli troops in a refugee camp in the southern West Bank on Sunday, relatives and Palestinian medics said.
The Israeli military confirmed its troops opened fire in response to a “violent riot” and said an investigation into the boy’s death was under way.
Khalil Mohammed 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 Yussef 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 said. “He was shot in the back and the bullet exited through his stomach.”
A medical official confirmed his death.
“A violent riot erupted earlier today during an activity in Al-Fawwar. Forces opened fire towards 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 under way 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 funeral was to be held later Sunday.
The shooting followed two consecutive days of clashes in the West Bank between Israeli troops and Palestinians protesting against Israel’s ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip.
On Saturday, 15 Palestinians were injured 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 on 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.