Illustration
Illustration Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90

On October 4th (Tuesday), the Commanding Officer of the Central Command, MG Yehuda Fuchs, was presented with the findings of the examination conducted on the IDF activity in the Khirbet al-Deir village located in the Etzion Brigade, carried out at the time of the death of the child, Rayan Suleiman, on September 30th, 2022.

According to the examination, it appears that during routine IDF activity to secure a central road in the area, a number of suspects hurled stones at vehicles. IDF troops entered the Khirbet al-Deir village, in order to locate the suspects who fled to the area following the incident.

During the searches, the IDF company commander surveyed several buildings in order to identify the suspects. In one of the houses, the commander recognized the father of the family from the window of the house and called him to the doorstep of the house together with his children, in order to conduct a questioning. The father arrived with two of his children (it is not possible to determine if Rayan Suleiman was among them) to the doorstep, and held a short conversation with the company commander. The conversation was held in a respectful manner, without any form of physical contact and certainly without the use of verbal or physical violence.

As the troops exited the village, they encountered a vehicle with the father of the family with the child on his lap. The car continued its journey without delay. Afterwards, the commander identified an ambulance that entered and exited the village with no interference.

According to the examination, during the entire stay of the troops in the village, no physical force or weapons of any kind were used (including firearms or riot dispersal means).

Moreover, the examination shows that no evidence was found regarding Rayan's fall or of the physical damage he suffered as a result of the IDF activity.

With regard to the conclusions drawn from the examination, no correlation was found between the sad death of the child, Rayan Suleiman, and the activity of the troops in the village.

The soldiers acted as expected of them, while adhering to the values of the IDF, and maintaining responsibility and purity of arms.

Last week, the Biden administration demanded "an immediate and thorough investigation" of Suleiman's death, amid reports by Axios that the child had died of a heart attack brought on by an IDF search of his house for his two older brothers, who were wanted for stone-throwing attacks.

The boy’s family claimed that Rayan was frightened by the soldiers and the commotion that was created, and suffered a heart attack, collapsed and died.