JERUSALEM (Jul. 26)
A 4-year-old Arab child was killed by Israel Defense Force soldiers in a shooting incident in Khan Yunis on the Gaza Strip.
In a rare move, the army issued a statement expressing sorrow over the death of the child even before completing its investigation into the matter.
The statement added that the three soldiers involved were suspended from regular duty, pending completion of the investigation.
The incident occurred Friday. An army roadblock had been placed in Khan Yunis following a report that an Arab-owned car carrying several terrorist suspects was seen in the area.
A car fitting the description of the one carrying the wanted terrorists was seen approaching the roadblock and then turning abruptly onto a side road.
According to the army statement, the soldiers fired several shots in the air, but the car failed to stop. They then fired in the direction of the fleeing car, which soon disappeared from the scene.
A short while later, a 4-year-old Arab child, Na’im Salim Emuna, of Khan Yunis, was brought to the local Nasser Hospital, suffering fatal bullet wounds. He died shortly thereafter.
Kamel Emuna, the child’s father, admitted that he diverted his car from the army roadblock, because he wanted “no complications,” since he did not possess his driving license and insurance documents. He said he had heard the shots, but did not think they were directed at him, and only a while later did he realize his son was wounded.
Following the incident, tension ran high in Khan Yunis, where the now-widespread intifada first got its start in December 1987.
An army outpost in town came under machine-gun fire Saturday night. No one was hurt.