The body of 13-year-old Abed al-Rahman Obeidallah is carried towards his family home during the funeral procession in Aida Refugee Camp. (MaanImages/Emily Mulder)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Senior Israeli army officials said Tuesday that the killing of 13-year-old Abed al-Rahman Obeidallah in Aida refugee camp was a "mistake," although conflicting accounts have been reported about the circumstances of the shooting.
Israeli news site Haaretz quoted a senior Israeli army officer as saying the killing of the Palestinian teenager was "unintentional," with the target of the gunfire reportedly standing near to the 13-year-old boy.
There was no alternative to using live fire in the incident due to the recent violence in the occupied West Bank, the officer added.
Israeli news site Ynet quoted another senior Israeli army officer as saying that a bullet fired at the 13-year-old's legs missed its intended target and "ricocheted into the chest of the Palestinian."
"A Ruger bullet was fired and did not strike well," the unnamed officer was quoted as saying.
Israel's army told Ma'an that "the incident is being thoroughly investigated," but could not elaborate or give further details about the investigation. Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the funeral procession of Abed al-Rahman Obeidallah, 13, who was shot in the chest while returning home from school in Aida refugee camp on Monday afternoon.
Obdeillah was the second Palestinian to be killed in 12 hours, after an 18-year-old Palestinian was shot dead during clashes in Tulkarem overnight Sunday.
Rights groups have repeatedly condemned Israel's use of excessive force against demonstrations in the West Bank.
Last year, Amnesty International said Israeli forces display a "callous disregard" for human life with near total impunity for the killing of Palestinian civilians in cases examined since 2011.
"The frequency and persistence of arbitrary and abusive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers and police officers – and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators – suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy," the group said.