Israel denies responsibility for killing Palestinian baby

Israeli military spokesman says Israel not responsible for death of Palestinian baby, who died after suffocating due from tear gas

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

he mother of eight-month-old Palestinian baby Ramadan Thawabtah, who the health ministry said died after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops on Friday, hugs his body during his funeral in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, October 31, 2015.

Israel has denied causing the death of a Palestinian baby who suffocated due to the use of tear gas fired by Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed on Friday that eight-month-old Ramadan Mohammed Faisal Thawabta, died after inhaling tear gas during clashes that took place in the West Bank and Gaza.

According to Abu Anan, a Red Crescent medic, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas into the house where the family resides while Israeli forces and Palestinians were clashing.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, however, an Israeli military spokesman denied responsibility for the death.

"Following both medical and operational investigations it was concluded that there is no correlation of IDF (Israeli army) activity in the village and the tragic death of the infant," he said.

"Tear gas was used dozens of meters [yards] away from the Thawabteh residence, and no riot dispersal means were directed at the residence," he added.

Palestinian unrest against the Israeli occupation has been increasing in recent weeks amid stalled peace talks between Palestinians and the Israeli government to establish a two-state solution.

Since the new wave of violence - the worst since the 2014 Gaza war began early in October - over 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Around half of them were accused of attempting to stab Israeli civilians and security forces when they were killed, while around a dozen Israelis have also died in attacks by Palestinians.

A mourner in Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem on October 31, 2015 carries the body of 8-month-old Ramadan Thawabteh, who died the previous day after exposure to tear gas fired by the Israeli army

International human rights organisation Amnesty International has criticised Israeli forces for using “extreme and unlawful measures."

It described the killings of some Palestinians as "extrajudicial executions," saying the victims did not pose an imminent threat to Israeli security forces at the time of their deaths.

Amnesty International has also urged Israeli officials to protect Palestinians in Hebron from any attacks carried out by Israeli residents which have been occurring with increasing frequency.

TRTWorld and agencies