The Honorable Antony Blinken
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Blinken,
We are deeply disturbed by the killing of a 17-year-old Palestinian-American native of Gretna, Louisiana, who was killed by Israeli forces early on Friday, January 19, 2024. Tawfiq Abdeljabbar, a U.S. Citizen, was in his car going back to his family village, Al-Mazra’a, located east of Ramallah when he was fatally shot in the head. Tawfiq sustained critical injuries before being pronounced dead at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. The killing of a U.S. citizen in an occupation zone by Israeli forces is unacceptable. Over 370 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Israeli forces in the West Bank in the last three months.
We urge the State Department to ensure there is a full and transparent investigation into and accountability for Mr. Abdeljabbar’s death. Justice must be served for Mr. Abdeljabbar’s death. We also ask the State Department to investigate whether U.S. funds or equipment were used in this incident, in potential contravention of the Foreign Assistance Act, including its Leahy Law amendments.
We view this not only as a foreign policy issue, but also as a civil rights issue, emphasizing the necessity for our government to ensure equal treatment and protection for all U.S. citizens, including Arab and Palestinian Americans, regardless of their ethnic background or where they are in the world. This incident not only impacts the family of Mr. Abdeljabbar but also resonates deeply within our communities here at home, underscoring the need for swift and transparent action by our government.
The American Federation of Ramallah Palestine
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Palestinian American Council
IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation
Beit Sahour USA
Al-Mazra Al-Sharqia Society
Palestinian American Organizations Network
National Arab American Women’s Association
US Palestinian Council
Al-Hedayah Islamic Center
American Friends Service Committee
Coalition of Palestinian American Organizations