Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year old resident of Nabi Saleh, was shot in the face yesterday, during the weekly protest in the village of Nabi Saleh. He sustained a critical head injury, under his right eye, and was evacuated to the Belinson hospital in Petah Tikwa. The severe trauma to Tamimi’s brain, caused by the shooting, left the doctors with little to do to save his life, and he eventually passed away at 09:21 AM today.
Tamimi’s funeral will take place tomorrow, leaving Ramallah at 10:00 AM towards Nabi Saleh, where it is expected to reach at around 11:00 AM.
Mustafa Tamimi (left) a moment before his injury. Circled in red are the barrel of the gun and the projectile that hit him. Picture credit: Haim Scwarczenberg
A photo of the incident shows Tamimi at a distance of less than 10 meters behind the semi-open door of an armored military jeep with the gun aimed directly at him. Clearly visible in the photo is also the tear-gas projectile flying in his direction.
The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh today, when dozens gathered for the weekly demonstration in the village, protesting the theft of village lands by the adjacent Jewish-only settlement of Nabi Saleh. After the army dispersed the peaceful march, minor clashes erupted followed by a severe response from the Israeli forces. Several people were hit with rubber-coated bullets and directly shot tear-gas projectiles. Three were evacuated to the Ramallah hospital for further treatment, including a 14 year-old. One protester was arrested.
In complete disregard to the army’s own open fire regulations, soldiers often shoot tear-gas projectiles directly at groups of protesters or individuals. Rubber-coated bullets are indiscriminately shot at protesters from short distances on a regular basis. The Israeli army also resumed the use of high velocity tear-gas projectiles in Nabi Saleh, despite the fact that they have been declared banned for use, after causing the death of Bassem Abu Rahmah in the neighboring village of Bil’in, in April 2009, and the critical injury of American protester Tristan Anderson in Ni’ilin in March of the same year.
The demonstrations, which have been held regularly for the past two years have seen hundreds of injuries to protesters by Israeli forces, as well as dozens of arrests carried out by Israel with the aim of suppressing dissent.