JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israeli troops in the West Bank is a U.S. citizen, according to the State Department.
The teen, identified as Orwa Hammad, was killed Friday evening in the West Bank village of Silwad, located near Ramallah. The family of the teen said he was 14 years old, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency. Silwad residents said Hammad’s father lives in the United States, Maan reported.
The Israel Defense Forces told reporters that the teen was shot as he prepared to throw a firebomb at cars driving on Highway 60.
The soldiers opened fire “in order to neutralize the threat to the lives of civilians driving on the highway,” the IDF Spokesman’s Department said.
“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,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement released on Friday evening in the United States.
Psaki said in the statement that officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem have been in contact with the family and were providing “all appropriate consular assistance.”
“We call for a speedy and transparent investigation and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation,” Psaki said.
“We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank,” the statement concluded.
On Wednesday, a 3-month-old girl who held U.S. citizenship was killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem.