A practical joke by a Palestinian security officer caused a storm in the Jenin area on Wednesday, as a Preventive Security officer informed the family of 24-year-old Majdi Nazal that their son was killed by police fire in Nazareth.
The officer said the Fatah-affiliated Nazal refused to follow police orders while in Nazareth, and was shot dead as he tried to escape. The family tried to contact their son via his mobile phone, and after many failed attempts, were convinced he was really dead.
The family opened a mourners' tent and the official Palestinian news agency WAFA even published an announcement that a young Palestinian from the Jenin area was killed by Israeli police officers inside Israel.
Palestinian officers from Jenin tried to clarify the matter with their Israeli counterparts who said they had no knowledge of such an incident.
Much to the surprise of the Nazal family, Wednesday evening their "dead" son Majdi contacted them saying he was returning to Jenin after failing to find work in Israel.
The shocked family members, who were in the middle of mourning their son, rushed to tell comforting guests that he was still alive.
The news, however, did not reach the Fatah movement in time, and activists had already started a vehicle procession, and were mourning, through loudspeakers, the Fatah "martyr" who was killed in cold blood by Israeli police.
PA officials viewed the incident severely and an investigation was opened against the Preventive Security officer who started the rumor, to clarify whether it was just a bad practical joke or an attempt to harm the family.
Palestinian police will also try to find out who aided the officer in keeping Nazal's mobile phone away from him for over five hours, and preventing his family from being able to reach him.
"Nazal is safe and sound, but I am not sure the man behind this prank will stay that way," a Palestinian source in Jenin told Ynet.