However, Palestinian witnesses dispute the claim, testifying that soldiers stationed outside al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron's Old Quarter murdered 13-year-old Sabri Fayiz Rajub in cold blood.

"The soldiers were shouting at the boy, and then shot him in the leg, however as he fell down and was shivering with pain,  another soldier shot him in the chest, finishing him off.

"It was cold-blooded murder," said Hilmi Jaabari, a witness.

Incorrect reports

He dismissed earlier media reports and Israeli accounts of the incident that Rajub tried to attack soldiers with a knife as "pure fabrication."

"I saw no knife, in fact, the boy never got that close to the soldiers. So how could he ever pose a real threat to them?

"But even if he had a knife, they could have dealt with him in any other way, other than killing him?"

"I saw no knife, in fact, the boy never got that close to the soldiers. So how could he ever pose a real threat to them?"

Hilmi Jaabari,
a witness

The Israeli army Arabic correspondent Eitan Arusi said the occupation army was investigating the incident.

Through the years, Israeli occupation soldiers have killed numerous Palestinian civilians, claiming the victims had tried to stab soldiers. 

However, most of these claims were never independently verified and no investigations were undertaken.

Al-Ibrahimi Mosque massacre

The latest killing comes ten days before the 11th anniversary of al-Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in Hebron (al-Khalil).

On 25 February, 1994, an American Jewish immigrant, Baruch Goldstein, attacked prayer halls at al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the compound, using a machine gun, killing at least 29 worshippers as they prostrated during the early morning prayers.

Baruch Goldstein killed 29 people
while in prayer at the mosque

Dozens of other worshippers were also wounded in the massacre which observers of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict agree precipitated the phenomenon of human bombings.

Goldstein was killed by the survivors.

The bulk of the Israeli right, including the Talmudic messianic settler movement known as Gush Emunim,  embraced Goldstein, arguing that he did the right thing in light of the Torah and Talmud.

Killer rewarded

One rabbi, Dov Lior, in fact elevated Goldstein to the rank of Saints.

Goldstein was buried in Kiryat Arba'a and his tomb eventually became a pilgrimage site serving as an attraction for Jewish extremists from around the world.

Hebron is home to more than 170,000 Palestinians and nearly 400 Jewish extremists who have been heavily armed with automatic weapons and who advocate the extermination, enslavement or expulsion of non-Jews in Israel and the occupied territories.