The child has been identified as Nayef Yousef Abu Aker, 16 years of age, from Deir al-‘Asal village, south of Doura city in the Hebron district.
Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers aimed at the child and shot him dead, before surrounding his body, and prevented any person from approaching.
The Israeli army claimed troops had fired at Palestinians trying to damage the barrier. Abu Aker was trying to cross into historic Palestine from an area close to the Ramadeen village which borders the Negev.
“Earlier today three suspects sabotaged the security fence in Deir al-Asal al-Tahta,” a spokeswoman told AFP, saying troops had verbally warned them away from the area then fired warning shots in the air.
When that did not work, troops “fired towards the lower extremities of the main instigator,” she said, confirming he was hit and taken to an Israeli hospital “where he died of his wounds.”
But the victim’s brother, Abed Shawamreh, 23, denied the army’s account and said the teenager had been out looking for gundelia, a thistle-type plant used in cooking.
“Every year, people from the village go out to pick gundelia. Today Yussef went with his friends to pick some in an area close to the wall and the army shot at them. They hit him and arrested two of his friends,” he told AFP.
The army is currently withholding the body, and informed the Palestinian side that his body will be handed over to the family in the coming hours.