A Gaza Arab teenager who was reported by Arab media as killed by the IDF has returned home alive and well, his family said Friday. He had been in Egyptian custody.
The Health Ministry in Gaza reported Tuesday that Muhammad Zen Ismail Al-Farmawi, aged 15, was killed when the IDF opened fire on a 'Land Day' in Rafiah (Rafah), Gaza. The IDF denied involvement at the time, but the "death" was reported worldwide as true.
The Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency, which on Tuesday carried the story of Al-Farmawi's supposed demise, reported Saturday that “[i]t turns out Al-Farmawi was among 17 Palestinians detained by Egyptian forces shortly after [they] infiltrated the Egyptian side of Rafah via one of Gaza's numerous underground smuggling tunnels. The detainees, among them 12 minors, were returned to security forces at the border on Friday. They had been questioned about tunnel locations, leading to at least three closures, Egyptian security sources said.”
Farmawi's relatives expressed "overwhelming happiness" that their son was back home and unharmed.
Muawiya Hassanein, Health Ministry director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, told Ma'an that Farmawi was “assumed” to have died in clashes Tuesday after an Arab ambulance crew was refused permission to access to the area.
Ma'an had reported Tuesday that “witnesses said Israeli troops opened fire directly at protesters east of Khan Younis and the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in southern Gaza.” However, the event now seems never to have happened.
Meanwhile, Arab medics found the body of Ei'tah Ad-Dughmah, 23, who was killed eight days ago in a firefight in Gaza that left two IDF soldiers and three Arabs dead. He belonged to the Islamic Jihad terror militia.