US calls for probe into murder of Palestinian boy by Israeli army

Israeli forces open fire during clashes in the occupied West Bank, killing 14-year-old boy army described as "man hurling a molotov cocktail".

Palestinians from the Jalazoun refugee camp clash with Israeli security forces
Palestinians from the Jalazoun refugee camp clash with Israeli security forces

The US 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, 14, was shot in the head on Friday in the village of Silwad, north of the Palestinian seat of government in Ramallah.

An Israeli army spokesman told the Reuters new agency that Israeli forces had prevented an attack: "They encountered a Palestinian man hurling a molotov cocktail... They opened fire and they confirmed a hit."

The US confirmed that Hammad was an American citizen. 

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called for a "speedy and transparent investigation," adding: "The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a US citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24."

The Israeli military said it would investigate the shooting.

Hammad was the second teen to be killed by army fire in eight days. A 13-year-old was killed last week in a West Bank village.

There were other clashes in Palestinian areas in and around Jerusalem on Friday in which several people were lightly injured.

Tensions have flared as the Jewish Sukkot holiday has brought increased visits by Jews accompanied 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.

Palestinians fear the visits, along with the moving-in of dozens of Israeli settlers to homes in a crowded Arab district in the shadow of the compound, aim to deepen Israel's claim to the city as its eternal and indivisible capital.

East Jerusalem was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and later illegally annexed. Palestinians want it for the capital of a future state.


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