GRENTA, La. — The Palestinian American community in the New Orleans area is reeling from the killing of a 17-year-old local who was visiting family in the occupied West Bank. Tawfic Abdel Jabbar, a native of a New Orleans suburb, was fatally shot by Israeli security forces near the village of Al-Mazra’a Ash-Sharqiya. This tragic incident has sparked grief and anger within the community, as they seek justice and accountability for the young man’s death.
Abdel Jabbar was described as a larger-than-life young man, beloved by many in his community. His death has left friends, classmates, and teachers in shock and disbelief. Many are frustrated with what they perceive as a lack of response from local and national officials to the case. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has offered condolences to the family, calling on Israel to conduct a full investigation into the matter.
The details of Abdel Jabbar’s death remain unclear, but his family alleges that Israeli fire targeted the vehicle he was in, resulting in his tragic death. This incident has raised concerns about the lack of attention and outreach from public officials, leading some community members to feel isolated and ignored.
The community’s frustration is compounded by the feeling that Abdel Jabbar’s background as a Palestinian American may have influenced the lack of attention from officials. According to Nabil Abukhader, president of the local Masjid Omar Mosque, the lack of outreach from local leaders feels like disrespect due to the young victim’s background.
This tragic incident has also reignited conversations about the ongoing violence and unrest in the region, with the family expressing hope that this tragedy will bring awareness to the situation and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The community has come together to mourn Abdel Jabbar’s death, holding vigils and a memorial motorcade in his honor.
In light of the loss, the family has chosen to remain in the West Bank for the foreseeable future and has buried Abdel Jabbar in their ancestral Palestinian village. This heartbreaking incident has not only impacted the local Palestinian American community in Louisiana but has also sparked discussions about the larger issues of justice and accountability in the region.