An American-Palestinian boy was shot dead during clashes between Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing protesters in the occupied West Bank on Friday.
Orwah Hammad, who was 14 years old, was shot in the head in the village of Silwad, north of the Palestinian seat of government in Ramallah.
An army spokesman told Reuters Israeli forces “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.” The military said it would investigate the shooting.
There were other clashes in Arab areas in and around Jerusalem in which several people sustained minor injuries.
Furthermore, 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 Defence Forces during clashes in Silwad on 24 October”.
Hammad is the second teen to be killed by army fire in just a week. Thirteen year old Bahaa Badr was shot three times in the chest as Israeli forces entered West Bank village Beit Liqya near the separation wall with Israel on 17 October.
Tensions in the territories have flared recently as the Jewish Sukkot holiday has seen Jews, accompanied by Israeli police, storm the Jerusalem holy site known to them as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary, part of the al-Aqsa mosque complex.
Palestinians fear that the visits, along with the moving-in of dozens of Israeli settlers to homes in a crowded Arab district by the holy compound, aim to deepen Israel’s claim of the city.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally, for the capital of a future state.
On 22 October a Jewish baby was killed and eight people were hurt when a Palestinian man slammed his car into pedestrians at a Jerusalem light railway stop. The police described it as a deliberate attack and the driver was shot dead.
The incident followed the running-over and killing of a five year old Palestinian girl, Enas Shawkat, by an Israeli motorist driving in a West Bank village. Her death on 20 October enraged Palestinians, but Israeli investigators determined it was an accident and the driver was not arrested.
Palestinians want to establish statehood 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.
Mutual acrimony has risen since the July-August war between Israel and Hamas militants that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians – mostly civilians – and over 70 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians mediated by the United States collapsed in April.