Gaza Health Ministry Backtracks: Palestinian Boy May Have Not Been Killed by Israeli Fire

Shadi Abdel-Al was killed Friday in a protest at the Strip. After his death, Gaza authorities claimed he was shot in the head, but following an Haaretz query said that the cause of his death could not be determined

Twin brother of 12-year-old Shadi Abdel-Al, at his brother's funeral, September 15, 2018.
MOHAMMED SALEM/Reuters

12-year-old Shadi Abdel-Al who died in the clashes on the Gaza fence Friday was not hit by a live Israeli bullet but by a blunt object, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza said Sunday.

Gaza's Health Ministry said Friday that the boy was shot in the head. On Saturday, Haaretz asked the Ministry of Health in Gaza to investigate the circumstances of the boy's death. A spokeswoman for the ministry said that according to the medics, he suffered a head injury but she could not confirm whether the injury was caused by a bullet.

Al-Mezan documents injuries to Palestinians in clashes near the fence. According to their report, Abdel-Al participated in the Friday marches east of Jabalya and was evacuated to the hospital in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip at 5.30 P.M., but was already dead by the time he arrived at the hospital.

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Palestinian protesters watch as tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces comes through black smoke of burning tires during a demonstration along the Israeli fence east of Gaza City on September 14, 2018.
SAID KHATIB / AFP

The medical examination showed that Abdel-Al was severely injured by a dull object that cracked his skull, and that he died shortly after. The report included no details of the object that hit Abdel-Al, nor whether it was a live bullet, grenade or other object.

The two other people killed over the weekend in clashes, Hani Ramzi Afana and Mohammed Shaqoura, both aged 21, were reportedly killed by live fire.

According to Al-Mezan and Gaza Ministry of Health's data, the number of fatalities since the beginning of the March of Return processions has risen to 186, of which 135 were killed in demonstrations and marches near the fence, and the rest from attacks on positions of Palestinian organizations by Israel or during attempts to break through the fence.