JERUSALEM (JTA) — A report by Palestinian parents that their 6-year-old son was shot in the stomach by a Jewish settler was fabricated, the Israeli army said.
The Israel Defense Forces found in its investigation that the boy who was shot in Qalqilya, a West Bank Palestinian city that borders the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba, was playing with a gun owned by his brother, an 18-year-old Palestinian police officer, when it misfired on Saturday. The child is on life support; the Israeli military interrogated the older brother.
Palestinian sources told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the family may have lied to protect the brother and in order to be recognized as victims of settler terrorism by the Palestinian Authority and receive a payment from the P.A.
The family said originally that an Israeli driver stopped his car on the road outside of Qalqilya and shot at the boy before fleeing, the Palestinian Maan news service reported. Maan later updated its report to say that the Israeli army rejected the “involvement of Israeli civilians” in the shooting.
The report said that the P.A. security service was following up reports about the shooting of the boy “after initial reports from relatives appeared to be false.