A four-year-old Palestinian girl has tragically died after being hit in the head by a stray bullet as she sat down with her family to eat at home, it has been reported
Rafif Qara’een was reportedly hit by an “M-16 calibre bullet” as she sat down to eat the traditional iftar evening meal to break her family’s fast during Ramadan in the Issawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem on May 21.
Local media reports the bullet hit the girl in the head and she was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in a life-threatening condition, with doctors putting her on a ventilator.
An expert team of paediatric neurosurgeons operated on the four-year-old but the hospital said her “brain injury was extremely severe” and she has now died.
Her family say they did not realise she had been shot until they reached the hospital and doctors informed them.
Police said they suspected the bullet had been fired from Anata, a town located over the separation wall between Jerusalem and the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
However, locals in the Issawiya reportedly doubt this version as they say the family live in the centre of the neighbourhood, sheltered from the wall, and the family say they did not hear a gun being fired.
The girl’s grandfather Mahmoud Abu Riyaleh, told local media that the family could not believe that the four-year-old “had just gone like that.”
No arrests have been reported and it is currently unclear who may have fired the fatal shot.
Police told the family that the bullet was apparently fired from the area of Anata, a town across the security barrier and inside Palestinian Authority territory, Abu Riyaleh said.