A 15-year-old Palestinian who was allegedly killed by Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Tuesday returned home alive and well on Friday after spending several days in Egyptian custody, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
The IDF denied Palestinian media reports that it shot and Mohammad Zeid Al-Farmawi, a resident of the Qishtat neighborhood in Rafah, as he was trying to cross from Gaza into Israel, yet various Palestinian news agencies reported that he was found dead by paramedics east of the defunct Gaza International Airport.
IDF sources told Haaretz that a Palestinian had approached the fence but was driven off when troops fired warning shots into the air. The sources said the Palestinian was not hurt and that he seemed able to walk away from the area.
Gaza emergency chief Mo'aweya Hassanein told reporters in Gaza on Tuesday that medical teams and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) coordinated with the Israeli army to collect the boy's body.
According to Ma'an, Farmawi was among 17 Palestinians, including 12 minors, detained in Egypt after infiltrating the Egyptian side of Rafah via an underground tunnel connecting between Gaza and Egypt.
His family expressed "overwhelming happiness" that their son was in fact unharmed during a week of violent uprising along the border between Gaza and Israel.
Health Ministry director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, Muawiya Hassanein, said that following "huge efforts and contacts" to return the boy's body, officials found him among the detainees in Egypt, Ma'an reported, and also quoted anonymous sources saying that the purported death was an "internal matter."
Last week two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian militants were killed in Gaza in an exchange of fire between IDF troops and Hamas operatives spotted planting explosives along the border fence, not far from the site where Farmawi was initially reported to have been killed.
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