Palestinian-American Teenager Killed by IDF in West Bank

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A member of the Israeli security forces flashes the sign for victory during clashes with Palestinian youths from the Jalazoun refugee camp at the entrance of the Jewish West Bank settlement Beit El, north of Ramallah, following a march by Palestinian demonstrators against Israeli restrictions on the Al-Aqsa mosque and against Jewish settlements in the West Bank on October 24, 2014.
Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

A 14-year-old boy killed by the Israeli Defense Force in the West Bank on Friday was a U.S. citizen. Orwah Hammad was born in New Orleans and moved to the territory at age 6, according to his cousin.

Hammad was one of a group of young men throwing stones at the Israeli Army Friday, as part of ongoing unrest in the area. Israeli forces, however, say that they opened fire because a Palestinian man was throwing molotov cocktails at them.

An anonymous State Department official confirmed to the AP that Hammad was a U.S. citizen.

Tensions in the region have been high, even after a cease-fire ended a 50-day war in Gaza this summer. In recent weeks, they have been exacerbated by Jewish Israelis moving into Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem under the cover of night.

On Wednesday, another U.S. citizen — a 3-month-old girl named Haya Zissel-Brown — was killed when a Palestinian man crashed his car into a Jerusalem light rail station. Seven others were injured, and Israeli forces are treating it as a terror attack. (The driver was shot dead by authorities.)

Since the incident, the Israeli far right and Palestinian protesters have been out in force, with the former calling for the resignation of Israel’s public security minister and the latter throwing stones at Israeli law enforcement.