A 15-year-old boy who Palestinian sources said was shot to death in Gaza in late March is alive and well, a Palestinian news agency reported this week.
A Palestinian medical source had reported that the boy was shot to death at the Rafah airport on March 30, a day when Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israel Defense Forces.
But it turns out that the boy had been among 17 Palestinians detained by Egyptian forces after the Palestinians entered the Egyptian side of an underground smuggling tunnel, the independent Palestinian news agency Maan reported Sunday.
Egypt returned the detainees to Palestinian border security personnel on Friday, according to Maan.
The 15-year-old, identified by Maan as Muhammad Zen Ismail al-Farmawi, had been reported dead by Gaza's director of ambulance and emergency services, Muawiya Hassanein.
Palestinian medical sources said that 11 Palestinians participating in the March 30 demonstrations were hurt by Israeli forces. March 30 marked Land Day, an annual occasion for protests by some Palestinians against Israeli policies that they call discriminatory.
Israel Defense Forces denied that they had ever fired in the area where the 15-year-old was reportedly shot. "There was no firing at all" in the area, the IDF said in a statement after the March 30 demonstrations.
But local residents who had told Maan that the boy had been killed said the Israeli military had not been involved. They called the alleged killing an "internal matter."
Relatives of the boy expressed "overwhelming happiness" at the news that their son was alive and unharmed, according to Maan.