The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday denied Palestinian claims that an Israeli had shot a Palestinian child in the stomach near the West Bank city of Qalqilya earlier in the day, and said that the gun had been discharged accidentally.
Palestinian sources said that the six-year-old boy had been shot in his stomach by an Israeli near the West Bank city of Qalqilya. The Ma’an news agency said that the shooting was carried out by a suspected settler.
Israel’s Channel 2 television said on its website that an IDF investigation showed that the child and a friend had been playing with a gun when it went off, wounding the boy.
Ma’an said that it had been told by an IDF spokesman that Israeli soldiers were at the scene, “investigating any indication that the attack happened.”
According to the Palestinian sources, the child was standing by the road when an Israel driver stopped, shot him and fled, the Israeli news website Ynet reported. The boy was evacuated to hospital in Qalqilya.
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been escalating since the start of the Jewish new year holiday on September 13, when Israeli police discovered pipe bombs during a preemptive raid at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Since the raid, there have been numerous clashes and riots in the capital and West Bank, culminating in the murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin near Nablus on Thursday. Large numbers of IDF troops raided locations in the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday, arresting eight people over the killings.
Another Israeli couple said they came under fire as they drove through the West Bank, near Jerusalem late Friday.
The two reported hearing a bang on the roof of their vehicle as they traveled on Route 90, towards Ma’ale Adumim, the Maariv website reported Saturday. When they arrived at their destination, they discovered a bullet lodged in the vehicle. No one was injured, although the car sustained some damage.
The police have launched an investigation into the incident.
On Saturday morning, 15-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was arrested when police caught him throwing stones at Jews near a cemetery in the Old City.