Tear Gas Didn't Kill Palestinian Baby, Israeli Army Says

IDF says no tear gas fired in vicinity of eight-month-old Mohammed Thawabta's home; relatives say baby suffered from birth defect, military source says.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The funeral of eight-month-old Palestinian baby Mohammed Faisal Thawabta, who died the previous day reportedly after being exposed to tear gas fired by the IDF, in the West Bank.
The funeral of eight-month-old Palestinian baby Mohammed Faisal Thawabta, who died the previous day reportedly after being exposed to tear gas fired by the IDF, in the West Bank.Credit: AFP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Tear gas fired by Israeli forces during clashes in the West Bank on Friday had no direct link to the death of a Palestinian baby, the Israel Defense Forces said on Saturday, rejecting Palestinian claims to the contrary.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, eight-month-old Mohammed Faisal Thawabta was pronounced dead at a Bethlehem hospital after he inhaled tear gas during clashes in the Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. But the IDF said an investigation into the incident showed that tear gas was not used in the vicinity of the baby's family home, but dozens of meters away.

An Israeli military source also added that the baby's relatives said he suffered from a birth defect. Hospital sources also told Reuters the infant had a prior health condition and that it was unclear what had caused his death.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit stated that dozens of Palestinians were torching tires and throwing stones at army forces deployed to stop the protesters from heading to the nearby Migdal Oz settlement. The troops pushed back the protesters using crowd dispersal means, as well as rubber bullet and low-velocity bullet fire.

"An investigation shows that no crowd dispersal means were directly targeting the Thawabta family home. The use of gas canisters was made several dozen meters away from the family home, toward rioters who blocked the main route with rocks," said the statement.

"In light of the findings of the investigations – operational and medical – the IDF believes there is no direct link between IDF activities in the area and the tragic death of the Palestinian baby."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism