The father of Nimer Abu Amar, the 15-year-old youth from the Negev Bedouin town of Lakiya who was killed by stray fire from the Egyptian side of Israel's southern border Tuesday afternoon, accused the Defense Ministry and the IDF of abandoning the workers the Defense Ministry sent to maintain the southern border fence.
He said that when his son had crossed the border fence as part of his maintenance work and was shot the IDF was nowhere to be seen, and that when the soldiers returned after hearing the gunshot they did not respond.
"They had to return fire," he said. "I worked there, and I know the regulations. When there is work, there is an escort. Why did they leave the place? The employees received their instructions and started working, but there was no military escort. They arrived after the shooting and didn't return fire. Where is the Prime Minister? Where is the Defense Minister?"
However, the IDF said that, as opposed to the father's claims, the workers were accompanied by a military escort. They also said that, contrary to earlier reports, the boy arrived with uncle of his own volition and was not an employee of the Defense Ministry or the subcontractor.
Nevertheless, MKs from both sides of the political spectrum continued to criticize what they termed the employment of a minor on a Defense Ministry project. MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) said that he would demand that the Defense Ministry cease communication with all subcontractors who employ minors. "It's shocking that the Defense Ministry employs children. I intend to hold an urgent discussion on the subject at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee."
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) expressed similar sentiments on Twitter. "I don’t understand how the Defense Ministry employs such a young boy."
The IDF believes that Abu Amar was killed by an Egyptian border policeman who mistook him for a smuggler, and that the killing is not related to terrorism.