WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department on Thursday confirmed that a U.S. citizen was shot and killed when Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a fact which may add pressure for more U.S. involvement in any probe.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley identified the man as 19-year-old Furkan Dogan and said he was a U.S.-Turkish dual national born in Troy, New York, who died after suffering “gunshot wounds” in the attack.
He declined to confirm a report by Turkey’s state-run news agency Anatolian that said Dogan was hit by four bullets in the head and one to the chest.
Israeli marines killed eight Turks and Dogan aboard a Turkish ship carrying supplies to Gaza Monday, unleashing a storm of criticism of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Islamist Hamas group.
Israel says the blockade is aimed at preventing arms from flowing into the Mediterranean coastal strip, which has been a launching pad for rocket attacks on the Jewish state.
Crowley said the United States had multiple contacts with Israel before the flotilla had set sail for Gaza, saying the United States was conscious of the possibility of miscalculation.
“We urged ... caution and restraint,” he said.
Reporting by Andrew Quinn and Arshad Mohammed; editing by Mohammad Zargham