Gaza Health Ministry Walks Back Claim that IDF Killed Boy, Says He Died from Head Injury

An official in the Gaza Health Ministry on Monday walked back the assertion made by the Islamist terror group Hamas that a 12-year-old boy, who died over the weekend on the Israel-Gaza border, had been shot by IDF troops, The Algemeiner reported.

“The boy died of a head injury,” said the medical source, who asked not to be identified, declining to give additional information and avoiding blaming the Israeli army for the child’s death.

On Friday, Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, said the boy, Shadi Abdel-Al, had been shot dead by Israeli troops east of Jabalia in the northern part of the Strip.

However, the IDF said its own evidence showed that Abdel-Al was hit by a rock thrown by protesters. “According to the indicators and testimonies, the boy was killed as a result of an injury from stones thrown during the violent riots,” an IDF spokeswoman said. She added that there were “increasing indicators from Gaza that question the credibility” of the Health Ministry’s original statement about the boy’s death.

Her claim was corroborated by a Gaza-based rights groups, which said the boy died after being struck “with a solid object,” the AP reported earlier this week.

In Friday’s violent riots, 13,000 Palestinian massed at several points near the border fence, some of them hurling rocks and fire bombs at IDF troops under the cover of smoke from burning tires. Since March 30, Hamas has orchestrated violent riots on the border with Israel that have included the use of human shields, a war crime under international law, as well as attempts to infiltrate the Israeli border to carry out terrorist attacks.

This was not the first time that Hamas was caught lying about a death of a child in relation to the border riots. In June, a Palestinian prisoner told Israeli authorities that Hamas paid his relatives to falsely tell the media that his baby cousin died of tear gas inhalation during the border riots. The death of Layla Ghandour, an 8-month-old baby, was originally reported on May 14 to have been caused by the IDF.

However, the prisoner charged that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar had paid Layla’s parents, Miriam and Anwar Ghandour, NIS 8,000 ($2,206) to tell the media that the infant had died due to inhaling tear gas sprayed by Israeli forces.

[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Flickr ]