The Biden administration is calling for an ” immediate and thorough investigation” into the death of a 7-year-old Palestinian who died under disputed circumstances during IDF operations in the southern West Bank town of Tuqu’.
“We are heartbroken by the death of an innocent child,” says US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel during a press briefing.
Palestinian health authorities said Rayan Suleiman was killed after falling while being chased by troops.
The Israel Defense Forces denied any involvement in the child’s death, citing a preliminary probe of the incident. It said it had entered the town after reports of youths hurling rocks at Israeli cars, but there were no clashes amid the searches, and troops did not deploy any riot control measures, such as tear gas.
A military source told The Times of Israel that an IDF officer questioned the young boy’s father at their home. Troops also questioned several other Palestinian parents over their children’s alleged involvement in the stone-throwing.
The boy’s uncle, Muhammed Suleiman, told the Haaretz daily that Rayan “had a heart attack” after Israeli troops arrived at the family’s home.