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Thousands attend funeral of 7-year-old dead, Palestinians say in pursuit of Israeli forces CNN



Jerusalem
CNN

Thousands of Palestinians turned out on Friday to mourn a 7-year-old Palestinian boy who died Thursday after being chased by Israeli forces, his father said. israeli army However, this prompted the US State Department to seek an investigation.

Rayyan Suleiman was fleeing from the soldiers. Occupied West Bank His father Yasser Suleiman told reporters after Israeli soldiers tried to break into his uncle’s house.

“He was with my nephew and the kids in the neighborhood. They were all fleeing the soldiers. [The soldiers] I came to my brother’s house. I prevented them from entering the house. I told them there was no one at home. They came back to look at the cameras and came back to my house,” Suleiman said. “Rayan ran out the back door of the house in a panic.”

“The soldiers chased him until he died of fear,” said his father. “I drove him to the hospital, but they saw him dead. He stopped me again to check the car, put a gun to my head and said he needed to check another house.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said the boy died “of heart disease after falling from a height”.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) disputed Suleiman’s account, saying the soldiers did not chase the child and no soldier stopped the father from taking his son to the hospital. Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht said soldiers entered Tekoa after people were seen “throwing stones at vehicles on the road.”

“The soldiers did not chase the children. The company commander identified two children involved in the stone throwing on the balcony, went up to the house, did not use violence, and spoke to their father at the door. The company commander left. After that, a tragic event occurred,” Hecht said, adding that “a thorough investigation is underway within the brigade.”

The US State Department said it was “heartbroken” by Suleiman’s death.

“The United States is heartbroken to learn of the death of an innocent Palestinian child,” State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said Thursday. “As president [Joe] Biden and secretary [Antony] Blinken repeats over and over again that Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in equal security and security and enjoy equal freedom and prosperity.

“I support a thorough and expeditious investigation into the circumstances surrounding the child’s death, and I believe the IDF itself has indicated its willingness to investigate what happened,” Patel said.

Thousands of mourners filled the streets of Tekoa on Friday to mourn Suleiman’s death, chanting “we are all dead, Palestine is alive”. Suleiman’s body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag.

In August, UN Human Rights Commission Executive Director Michelle Bachelet “sounded the alarm” over the deaths and injuries of many Palestinians, including children, in the occupied West Bank this year. An August statement said 20 Palestinian children had been killed in occupied territories in 2022, including “many incidents” in which Israeli forces used deadly force.

There are no allegations of the use of deadly force against Suleiman.

Suleiman's funeral.

“Bachelet said the widespread use of live ammunition by Israeli forces in law enforcement operations across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2022 led to an alarming rise in Palestinian deaths,” Aug. statement said.

“The United Nations Office for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has documented that 74 Palestinians, including 20 children, have been killed this year. In many cases, Israeli forces have violated international human rights law. It used lethal force in a way that appeared to do so,” the statement added.



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