Rayyan Suleiman was coming home from school with other pupils in the village of Tuqu when troops gave chase, and he “died on the spot from fear,” his father Yasser said in a video circulated on social media.
A medical official who inspected the body told Reuters that it bore no sign of physical trauma and that the death appeared consistent with heart failure.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the incident as “an ugly crime” by Israel.
An Israeli military spokesman claimed troops were in the vicinity at the time to search for Palestinians suspected of fleeing into the village after having thrown rocks at motorists.
“An initial inquiry shows no connection between the searches conducted by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the area and the tragic death of the child,” the spokesman continued.
Palestinian residents stated there was no stone-throwing at the time. The military spokesman added that “the details of the incident are under review.”
In Washington, deputy State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel noted, “The US is heartbroken to learn of the death of an innocent Palestinian child.”