Eight-year-old Boy Drowns in Flooded Ditch in East Jerusalem

Three Palestinian were detained and 12 injured in clashes with Israel Police as hundreds searched for Qusai Abd Abu Ramileh in the Beit Hanina area

People searching for 8-year-old Qusai Abd Abu Ramileh near a flooded ditch, East Jerusalem, January 24, 2020.
Emil Salman

An eight-year-old boy from East Jerusalem was pronounced dead early Saturday morning after falling into a flooded ditch a day earlier.

Rescue forces found Qusai Abd Abu Ramileh at the bottom of the pit after pumping out rainwater flooding it adjacent to a construction site near the eight-year-old boy's house.

Abu Ramileh’s family reported he was missing since 4 P.M. on Friday, Israel Police said.  

Qusai Abd Abu Ramileh
Courtesy of the family

Police forces and hundreds of residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina searched for the boy in the area.

Abu Ramileh’s relatives initially claimed that the boy was kidnapped, while providing the police video footage in which he is allegedly seen walking alongside an unidentified man. Later, Abu Ramileh’s father said that the boy seen in the footage is not his son. One of Abu Ramileh’s relatives said that the family has no inner disputes nor it is involved in feuds with other families in the neighborhood.

Rescue teams search for 8-year-old Qusai Abd Abu Ramileh near Beit Hanina, January 24, 2020.

Abu Ramileh went to the grocery store Friday afternoon, and never came back, his family said. Hundreds marched from Beit Hanina to the Jewish settlement of Neve Yaakov in the northern area of East Jerusalem while searching for the boy. According to the Red Crescent, 12 Palestinians were injured in clashes with police forces. The police said dozens of Palestinians hurled stones at the officers, with three of them subsequently detained.      

Israel Police forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, January 24, 2020.
Emil Salman