US calls for ‘urgent’ investigation after American teenager dies in Gaza conflict

Henry

The USA is demanding that Israel conduct an “urgent investigation” into the death of a 17-year-old American-Palestinian boy who was allegedly killed by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank last week.

Tawfiq Ajaq died on Friday in the town of Al-Mazraa Al-Sharqiya, east of Ramallah, the news agency Wafa, as well as relatives of the young man, said.

“We are continuing close discussions with the Israeli government to gather as much information as possible and have called for an urgent investigation to determine the circumstances of his death,” said Vedant Patel, spokesman for the US State Department. .

Patel says they are “devastated” by the death of the teenager, an American citizen, and repeated the call for the de-escalation of the conflict.

The US has so far been “clear about the tragic escalation of violence in the West Bank,” he said, and calls on “all parties” to reduce it.

The US Office of Palestinian Affairs and the US Embassy in Jerusalem have been in contact with the teenager’s family, Patel said.

The Israeli army told AFP when asked that an off-duty police officer, as well as a civilian, fired in the direction of a Palestinian who was suspected of throwing stones.

The army said an (Israeli) soldier was also in the area and that the allegation that he fired at the teenager is being investigated.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and its troops regularly raid Palestinian communities.

The raids were intensified after the war between Israel and Hamas broke out on 7 October. It now increasingly lasts for days and is supported by airstrikes.

The Palestinian health authority says more than 360 people in the West Bank have died at the hands of Israeli troops and settlers since the conflict broke out.