Teen killed playing soccer in Gaza
02:03 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

The boy was shot in the head while playing football, the Gaza Health Ministry says

He was taken to a hospital, where he died, the ministry says

"There is no information that the IDF targeted a person," the Israeli military says

Jerusalem CNN  — 

A 13-year-old Palestinian boy in Gaza was fatally shot Thursday, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

A spokesman for the ministry accused the Israel Defense Forces of killing the boy. “Hameed Abu Daqqa was killed by an Israeli military helicopter after being shot in the head while playing football with his friends east of Khan Younis,” ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told CNN.

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Israeli Military Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich told CNN that the IDF could not confirm they were responsible for the shooting. “There is no information that the IDF targeted a person,” he said.

The shooting happened around noon and the Palestinian teenager died in the hospital, the Gaza ministry spokesman said.

The incident occurred on a day marked by Israeli military activity inside Gaza and on its border with Israel.

Leibovich said that 300 meters inside Gaza, Israeli border soldiers had discovered a cache of explosives in a tunnel adjacent to a security fence.

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After the soldiers returned to their post on the border and set about repairing the fence, an explosion erupted, the military said.

A soldier sustained minor injuries and an unoccupied army vehicle was blown up.

Palestinian sources said that, before the boy was shot, a number of Israeli military vehicles and tanks had entered Gaza some 500 meters east of Khan Younis, where they came under fire from militants.

The tanks responded by firing two rounds towards farmland; no one was injured in that incursion, they said.

An Israeli military statement about the border activity made no mention of the boy or the accusation that the military killed him.

His burial is scheduled to take place Friday.

CNN’s Kareem Khadder, Michael Schwartz and Talal Abu Rahman contributed to this report