Palestinians grieve as 7-year-old boy ‘dies of fear’
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Featured Image Credit: @KhaledBeydoun/Twitter/dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo
Masses of people are mourning the death of a seven-year-old Palestinian boy who died 'of fear' after being chased by Israeli troops.
People took to the streets of Taquo, near Bethlehem on Friday, 30, September for seven-year-old Rayan Suleiman's funeral.
His parents said that the little one's 'heart stopped beating because he was so scared' of the troops chasing him.
The West-Bank-based Health Ministry of the Palestinian Authority claimed that the youngster had died after 'falling from a high position' as he and his brothers were chased by Israeli troops.
However, staff at the hospital where Rayan was pronounced dead said that his heart stopped beating, explaining: "The most probable scenario of what happened is that under stress, he had excess adrenaline secretion, which caused the increase of his heartbeat."
#Palestine: 7-year old Rayyan was coming home from school.— Eamon Gilmore (@EamonGilmore) September 30, 2022
It is heartbreaking that a routine activity has become deadly for children.
The EU calls for an immediate halt to the violence. https://t.co/IpkTMb5m7m
They went on to explain that this ultimately led to the seven-year-old suffering a cardiac arrest.
An autopsy is being done on the youngster to find out exactly what happened, with his grieving father adding that his little boy 'died of fear on the spot' after seeing officers arrive at his door.
"He was just an innocent boy, just 7 years old, what can he do?" Rayan's father Yasser Suleiman said.
Rayan's aunt, who identified herself as Umm Ali to the Associated Press said that this isn't the first time troops have patrolled areas full of children. She said: "The kids are always in danger, from settlers from the army, on their way back from school."
"Rayan is not the first one, he is only the latest."
Rayan's brothers are said to have been so shaken by the incident they are refusing to go back to school.
In response to the heart-breaking incident, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) told CBS that 'several Palestinians hurled rocks toward civilians adjacent to the village', which prompted them to search nearby towns.
They continued: "During the searches, there were no clashes and no means of riot dispersal or live ammunition were used.
"Initial inquiry shows no connection between the searches conducted by the IDF in the area and the tragic death of the child."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677