A Palestinian child who went missing on Friday has been found frozen to death, his family announced on Saturday morning, as rumours over alleged his alleged abduction circulated.
Qais Abu Rmelah, 8, was found drowned in a water well in the Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of occupied Jerusalem before doctors and rescuers attempted to revive his frozen body.
A devastating video which surfaced online showed the frozen young boy, who had been wearing a visible red jacket, being carried by rescuers out of the water while dozens of local volunteers looked on.
Doctors at the hospital were instructed to dissect his body to determine the exact cause of death, his family confirmed to The New Arab.
Hundreds of locals had joined the search for the 8-year-old who went missing around 4pm on Friday. The search had extended outside of his local town and into the wider areas of Jerusalem, including areas with a high concentration of settlers, after rumours suggested he may have been kidnapped.
At least 30 volunteers taking part in the search were wounded with rubber bullets after Israeli security forces attempted to disrupt the operation.
Israeli forces also deployed to protect local settlements as anger boiled among Palestinians over fears he had been kidnapped by settler children in the area.
A video which surfaced after the boywent missing showed a young child being followed by a group of settlers, though Qais’s father quickly confirmed it was not his son.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.