IDF: No connection between army raid and death of 7-year-old Palestinian boy

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

7-year-old Rayan Suleiman in an undated photo. (Courtesy)
7-year-old Rayan Suleiman in an undated photo. (Courtesy)

The IDF says it has concluded an investigation into the incidents surrounding the death of a 7-year-old Palestinian boy during an army raid and found that there was no connection to the actions of the Israeli soldiers.

Rayan Suleiman died in disputed circumstances on September 29, after Israeli soldiers showed up at his home in the West Bank village of Tuqu’, south of Bethlehem. Relatives say troops who had been chasing stone throwers threatened his family, scaring the otherwise healthy child and causing his death.

The investigation finds that an officer questioned Suleiman’s father in the presence of two of his children at the door of their home, describing it as a “brief conversation conducted in a respectful manner, without any contact and certainly without the use of verbal or physical violence.”

“During the departure of the troops from the village, a vehicle passed by them with the father of the family in it with a child on his lap, and the vehicle continued its journey without delay. After some time, the commander of the force saw an ambulance that entered the village and left it without any disturbance,” the IDF says.

The statement notes that “during the entire time that the force was in the village, no force or weapons of any kind were used at all (no live fire or riot dispersal means.)”

It also says there was no evidence that the boy fell or was hurt as a result of the force’s actions.

“According to the conclusions of the investigation, any connection between the unfortunate death of the boy Rayan Suleiman and the actions of the force is ruled out,” the statement says. “The soldiers acted as expected of them while adhering to IDF values.”


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