The IDF stated that dozens of Palestinians arrived at a checkpoint near the Jewish settlement in the city and began to throw massive amounts of stones at the forces stationed there.
The statement said IDF troops responded by firing at the lower body of a major rioter, who was apparently inciting the rest of the Palestinians to violence.
Later the Civil Administration reported that the boy who had been injured from the fire had died. The IDF is still investigating the report.
Palestinian sources said the youth's name was Izz a-Din Jamal, and that his body was found lying near the Cave of the Patriarchs with a gun wound in the chest. The body was transferred to a Hebron hospital.
The IDF stated that incidents of stone-throwing at security forces had drastically increased recently in the area of the West Bank city.
The sources say this was being done as a cover-up. "No one hears the fire, but when you get to the area you see two or three injured people," one Palestinian said. He said the silencers were a new and dangerous tool employed by the IDF, and claimed their use is proof that the army is shooting to kill rather than to disperse protests.
Ali Waked contributed to this report