US seeks probe into death of Palestinian-American teen in West Bank clash

State Department ‘devastated’ by death of Tawfic Abdel Jabbar, who his uncle says was killed in confrontations with security forces that included stone-throwing

Tawfic Abdel Jabbar. (Courtesy)
Tawfic Abdel Jabbar. (Courtesy)

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday called for an investigation and for accountability “as appropriate,” following the West Bank death of a 17-year-old Palestinian American, who Palestinian health officials say was killed by Israeli security forces.

Speaking at a regular briefing, State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said the United States had called for an urgent investigation into the death of Tawfic Abdel Jabbar on Friday.

Palestinian health officials said the American-born youth was killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank. His uncle told Reuters he died during clashes with the Israeli military that included stone-throwing by Palestinians.

“We are devastated about the killing of 17-year-old US citizen Tawfic Abdel Jabbar in the West Bank,” Patel told reporters, saying the United States was working with Israel to get information about his death.

“We have called for an urgent investigation to determine the circumstances of his death and accountability… as appropriate,” he added.

Jabbar was reportedly shot in an incident in which an off-duty policeman, a soldier and a civilian opened fire in circumstances under investigation.

The West Bank has seen a surge of violence in parallel to the war that erupted on October 7 in response to the shock cross-border murder and kidnapping spree by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel.

Relatives carry the body of 17-year-old American Tawfic Abdel Jabbar at his funeral in his family’s Palestinian home village in Al-Mazra’a ash-Sharqiya, West Bank, on January 20, 2024. (AP/Nasser Nasser)

During the murderous rampage, 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists killed nearly 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and upward of 250 people of all ages were taken hostage, as the massacres’ perpetrators committed numerous atrocities and weaponized sexual violence on a mass scale.

In the ensuing war in Gaza, over 25,000 Palestinians have been killed, by the count of the Hamas-run health ministry, which cannot be independently verified, and does not distinguish between combatants and civilians. Israel says it has killed over 9,000 Hamas and other terror operatives in Gaza. The ground operation in Gaza has claimed the lives of 198 Israeli soldiers.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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