Despite reports and his family's initial fears that he might have been kidnapped by Israeli settlers, police confirmed that Qais Abu Rmaileh drowned in an open cistern.
Despite reports and his family's initial fears that he might have been kidnapped by Israeli settlers, as happened to Abu Khdair years ago, police confirmed that Qais Abu Rmaileh drowned in an open cistern.
An eight-year-old Palestinian boy who went missing in East Jerusalem Friday afternoon was found dead at the bottom of a cistern filled with rainwater after long hours of search efforts Saturday.
Qais Abu Rmaileh was found in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina and was immediately taken to Hadassah hospital, where lifesaving attempts were unsuccessful.
The Jerusalem Post initially cited Israeli police as saying that the youngster “was last seen entering a car.” The family is now asking that security footage from the area be released.
“If it turns out he was kidnapped by [West Bank] settlers it would set the entire neighborhood on fire,” the boy’s parents said.
The Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for his death, stressing that the authorities should have sealed the open water ditches to prevent children's access to them.
While Knesset’s MP Ahmad Tibi, from the Arab Movement for Change party, told Israel’s Ynet news website that “things are worrisome” and he hopes “that all doubts will be proven false.”
However, the accusations of Israeli settlers being involved in the boy’s disappearance and death are not unfounded, as in the past the illegal occupiers have killed and injured Palestinians, including children.
In July 2014, a Palestinian teenager named Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and killed after being burned by three Israeli settlers.