IDF soldier fires tear gas canister (illustration)
IDF soldier fires tear gas canister (illustration)Reuters

The IDF on Saturday debunked Palestinian Arab claims that its use of tear gas to break up Arab riots in Judea was at all connected to the death of an eight-month-old boy, after the Palestinian Authority (PA) health ministry said he was asphyxiated.

On Friday, the PA ministry made the claim that Ramadan Thawabteh was asphyxiated in his Bethlehem home by tear gas fired by IDF soldiers trying to disperse Arab terrorists hurling rocks at them.

"Following both medical and operational investigations it was concluded that there is no correlation of IDF activity in the village and the tragic death of the infant," a military spokesman said Saturday.

"Tear gas was used dozens of meters (yards) away from the Thawabteh residence, and no riot dispersal means were directed at the residence," a statement said.

Hundreds of people attended the boy's funeral on Saturday.

AFP contributed to this report.