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Palestinian-American killed by Israeli military in West Bank protest

Orwah Hammad, 14, is the latest casualty in ongoing tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank

A Palestinian-American teenager was shot and killed Friday by the Israeli military, and 12 Palestinians were wounded during protests, amid heightened tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Orwah Hammad, 14, shot in the northern West Bank village of Silwad, is the second Palestinian teen to be killed by the Israeli military in eight days. Bahaa Samir Badr, 13, was killed last week in the village of Beit Laqia. A 5-year-old Palestinian girl was also hit and killed by a car driven by an Israeli settler in the West Bank on Oct. 19.

The Israeli military, responding to Hammand’s death, said soldiers "prevented an attack" by opening fire on a Palestinian who was throwing fire-bombs at traffic on a highway.

A relative identified Hammad as a U.S. national who was born in New Orleans, the Associated Press reported.

Tensions have been high since June, when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed by Palestinians in the West Bank. Israelis retaliated by kidnapping and burning alive a Palestinian teenager in east Jerusalem, sparking riots. The kidnappings set off a series of events that led to the 50-day Gaza war, which left more than 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis, mostly sodiers, dead.

Last week, protests erupted when Muslims were prevented access to East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque while Israelis were allowed to enter. On Wednesday, a 21-year-old Palestinian from the village of Silwan crashed his car into a crowd of people at a light-rail stop killing a 3-month-old Israeli. The driver was shot and killed by Israeli forces. 

Al Jazeera and wire services

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