Palestinian boy who collapsed and died during an Israeli raid had been healthy, father says

Palestinian boy who collapsed and died during an Israeli raid had been healthy, father says
Seven-year-old Palestinian Rayan Suleiman collapsed and died on Thursday as Israeli soldiers raided his village
2 min read
02 October, 2022
Israeli forces frequently raid towns and villages in the West Bank [Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty]

Rayan Suleiman, the seven-year-old Palestinian boy who reportedly collapsed and died on Thursday while his village in the occupied West Bank was raided by Israeli soldiers, had been in good health prior to the incident, his father has said.

Israeli soldiers raided the West Bank village of Taqoa on Thursday, saying that they were looking for people who had thrown stones at them.

After the raid, Yasser Suleiman found his young son in the back garden of their home, lying on his stomach and without a pulse, he told Haaretz. The father and other family members said Rayan had been a healthy child before Thursday's incident.

According to the father, nobody had been seen what had happened to Rayan during the raid.

The family have yet to receive an official autopsy report, but Rayan's uncle, Munir Suleiman, told The New Arab on Friday that he believed Rayan had died from heart failure triggered by fear of the raid.

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Though physically well, Rayan had expressed apprehension about raids by Israeli soldiers, which are a common occurrence across the West Bank.

"The fear made him a martyr," Yasser Suleiman told Haaretz.

"A few weeks ago, Rayan woke up at night after the army entered the neighborhood. He came to my room, woke me up and said: 'Dad, the army’s here'".

"He really liked school, he liked writing, books and sport. I still can't believe he’s no longer here; I think I'll go downstairs and he’ll be there, at home." 

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. It frequently conducts raids in residential areas and refugee camps in which Palestinians are often injured and killed.

The United States has called on Israel to probe Thursday's incident.