A Palestinian toddler who was hit by errant gunfire from IDF soldiers near the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh and the West Bank settlement of Neveh Tzuf on June 2, succumbed to his wounds on Monday in Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, according to Israeli media.
The toddler was identified as Muhammad al-Tamimi. His 40-year-old father was also seriously injured in the incident and was evacuated to a hospital in Ramallah by the Red Crescent, where he is still being treated.
A preliminary probe into the incident showed the Palestinians were likely hit by IDF gunfire aimed at two other Palestinians who opened fire toward the West Bank settlement, the Israeli military said, stressing its intent to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible.
צה"ל: "שני מחבלים ירו במשך מספר דקות לעבר היישוב נווה צוף. כוח זיהה את הירי והשיב בירי. מסתמן שכתוצאה מהירי של הכוח נפגעו שני פלסטינים. צה"ל מצר על פגיעה בבלתי מעורבים ופועל למניעת אירועים מסוג זה. האירוע מתוחקר" >>> https://t.co/ODhfolNfU6@carmeldangor(צילום: שגב סגל, TPS) pic.twitter.com/kI7iUAY50J— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) June 1, 2023
The IDF expressed regret over the incident
The IDF later took responsibility for the accidental shooting.
"The IDF regrets harming those who were not involved and works to prevent incidents of this type. The incident is being investigated," an IDF spokesperson said.
IDF soldiers and volunteers from the rescue forces of nearby settlements assisted in evacuating the toddler to the hospital by helicopter.
Following the report of the boy's death, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland took to Twitter to condemn his death.
"I condemn and am deeply saddened by the death of a 2-year-old Palestinian boy, who was critically injured by Israeli security forces’ gunfire in Al-Nabi Saleh two days ago.," he wrote. "IDF said they were responding to a shooting from the area by Palestinian gunmen. Civilians, particularly children, continue to bear the brunt of this conflict. My deepest condolences to his family. I note that the Israeli authorities have opened an investigation into the incident and call for those responsible to be held to account."