A Palestinian teen with U.S. citizenship was killed today by the Israeli army at a demonstration in the West Bank town of Silwad, near Ramallah. Fourteen-year old Orwah Hammad was shot with a live bullet that entered his neck and exited through his head, according to Ramallah hospital staff. He died while being treated at Ramallah hospital around 6 p.m. this evening, Jerusalem time.
The killing comes eight days after Israeli soldiers killed a 13-year-old boy during a raid on a West Bank village.
Hammad’s father, Abdulwahhab Hammad, lives in Louisiana and was informed of his son’s killing via telephone. His mother, Ikhlas Hammad, is in Jordan visiting relatives, but is said to be traveling back to the West Bank this evening.
“The Israeli soldier shot directly at the child,” said mayor of Silwad Abu Salah. “His father wanted his children to live here, not in America,” he continued.
The slain youth’s remains will be held in the morgue of Ramallah hospital until Sunday, when his father is due to arrive. A funeral will be held the same day with a procession in Ramallah, and a burial in the family’s home village of Silwad.
Hammad was shot while taking part in a weekly Friday protest against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Witnesses said Hammad was stone throwing when he was struck.
“Orwah is the tenth Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces with live ammunition in the occupied West Bank in 2014,” said Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at Defense for Children International-Palestine. “Impunity is the norm for Israeli soldiers that commit violence against children as they consistently violate their own live-fire regulations and know that they will not be held accountable for their actions no matter what the result. There is no justice or accountability for child victims.”
Update: Here is the State Department statement from Jen Psaki today: “Death of US minor in Silwad.”
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. Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family and are 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. 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.