A Palestinian teenager who was abducted by Israeli forces in Gaza was not abducted by the Israelis, a kindergarten music teacher in the city of Ramallah said Sunday.
The Palestinian High Council for Education, which runs the school, said in a statement that no student had been kidnapped by Israeli security forces.
“We don’t know the circumstances under which this occurred,” it said.
“The circumstances under whose hands this happened have not been determined.”
The spokesman for the Palestinian Authority’s Education Ministry, Yasser Abu Khdeir, also said Sunday that the kidnappers did not kidnap the boy.
He said that the kidnapping had been carried out by a Hamas-affiliated group.
Abu Khdereir did not provide a name.
Israeli security officials have said there is no evidence that Hamas or the Islamic Jihad group has kidnapped children.
Israeli authorities say the abduction was carried out because the boy’s family is not able to return to their home in the Gaza Strip because of the fighting in the area.
In recent days, Palestinian militants in the Strip have fired rockets into Israel, killing at least three people.
In the past two weeks, Palestinians have launched more than 500 rockets at Israel, with some reaching Ashkelon, the Israeli capital, and hitting the southern city of Ashkelonsfeld, according to Israeli officials.
A Hamas official said Sunday there was no information to suggest that Hamas had launched a rocket at Ashkel on Saturday.
Israel launched a major offensive in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, targeting dozens of Hamas fighters.
Israel says it has struck dozens of targets in the enclave in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants and a possible new wave of rocket attacks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his government to respond to the rocket attacks in a swift manner.
Netanyahu, who was elected in March on a pledge to end the fighting, has said he wants to bring a negotiated truce to the Gaza strip.
He has said Hamas will not negotiate with Israel, which is the occupying power in the Palestinian territory.
Israeli forces and Hamas fighters are still fighting in Gaza over control of the territory.
The Israeli military said that Hamas fired three rockets into the Israeli city of Sderot early Saturday, hitting a home in an industrial area of the city and killing one person and injuring two others.
The military said it shot down the rocket and a car bomb in the vicinity of the home.
It said the rocket hit the house.
Israel and Hamas have been locked in a major battle for control of Gaza since last summer, when Israel began launching airstrikes to stop the rocket fire.
The fighting has killed more than 1,100 Palestinians, according a United Nations estimate.