U.S. calls for probe into Palestinian-American’s death
The U.S. State Department called for an expedited and transparent investigation into the death of a 14-year-old Palestinian American after confirming he had been shot and killed by Israeli forces, a statement said.
Orwah Hammad, was shot in the head in the village of Silwad, north of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called for a “speedy and transparent investigation.”
“The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24,” Psaki said in a statement posted on the State Department website.
U.S. officials would remain “closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation,” she added.
According to the Israeli army, the shot “managed to prevent an attack when they encountered a Palestinian man hurling a molotov cocktail at them on the main road next to Silwad. They opened fire and they confirmed a hit,” Reuters news agency reported.
This is one of many clashes in the Arab neighborhoods in and around Jerusalem where several people were injured.
Tensions in the West Bank escalated as the Jewish Sukkot holiday saw an increase in visits by Jews escorted by Israeli police to the Jerusalem holy site known to them as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary, with its al-Aqsa mosque complex, the third holiest site in Islam.
Palestinians are weary of the visits in addition to Israeli settlers moving in to already an already crowded Arab district near the holy compound, aim to deepen Israel’s claim to the city as its eternal and indivisible capital.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognized by the international community.
After an Israeli motorist ran over and killed five-year-old Palestinian Enas Shawkat, a Jewish baby girl was killed and eight people were hurt when a Palestinian man slammed his car into pedestrians at a Jerusalem light railway stop on Wednesday, in what police said was a deliberate attack.
The driver was shot dead.
The Israeli motorist was cleared as investigators insisted the incident was an accident.
The Palestinian Authority seeks to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza, territories Israel occupied in the 1967 war.
Israel withdrew soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005 but has since expanded settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Hospitality from both sides has surged following the July-August Israeli military assault in Gaza which claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians – mostly civilians – and over 70 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers.