US demands ‘urgent’ Israeli probe into Palestinian-American teen’s death

US demands ‘urgent’ Israeli probe into Palestinian-American teen’s death
US demands ‘urgent’ Israeli probe into Palestinian-American teen’s death

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Tawfiq Ajaq was shot dead Friday in the town of Al-Mazraa Al-Sharqiya, east of Ramallah, the Palestinian news agency Wafa and relatives of the young man said. — AFP pic

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 — The United States yesterday demanded Israel launch an “urgent investigation” into the death of a 17-year-old Palestinian-American killed by alleged Israeli fire in the West Bank last week.

Tawfiq Ajaq was shot dead Friday in the town of Al-Mazraa Al-Sharqiya, east of Ramallah, the Palestinian news agency Wafa and relatives of the young man said.

“We continue to engage closely with the government of Israel to ascertain as much information as possible and we have called for an urgent investigation to determine the circumstance of his death,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

Patel said he was “devastated” by the death of the teenager, a US citizen, and reiterated a call for de-escalation.

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The United States has “been clear over the tragic escalation in violence in the West Bank,” he said, adding that it was calling “on all parties to avoid escalations.”

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

When asked by AFP, the Israeli army said that an off-duty police officer and a civilian had fired in the direction of a Palestinian suspected of throwing stones.

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The army added that a solider was additionally in the area and that claims that he had fired on the teenager were under investigation.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and its troops regularly carry out incursions into Palestinian communities.

The raids have escalated since the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza began on October 7, increasingly lasting days and accompanied by air strikes.

Since then Israeli troops and settlers have killed more than 360 people in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry. — AFP

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