The pictures from Friday’s events in Nabi Saleh are hard to swallow:
An Israel Defense Forces soldier opens the back door of an armored
military jeep and, from a distance of just a few meters, fires a tear-
gas canister directly at a young man who is throwing stones. After the
canister is fired, the jeep continues on its way without stopping.
A photographer on the scene relates that the young man “fell to the
ground, remained conscious for a few seconds, and then began bleeding
profusely from the region of his eye.” He was subsequently evacuated
for treatment at Beilinson Hospital, where he was sedated and placed
on a respirator. On Saturday, he died from his wounds.
The incident took place during the weekly demonstration held by
residents of Nabi Saleh against the expropriation of their land in
favor of the nearby settlement of Halamish and the settlers’ takeover
of a spring that served the Palestinian residents. The young man who
was killed has a name – Mustafa Tamimi, 28, a resident of the village
and regular participant in the demonstrations that have been taking
place there every Friday for the past two years.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in response that “the army is looking
into the incident.” But one needs to wonder about the use of the term
“looking into.” A report published last week by Yesh Din-Volunteers
for Human Rights, which examined 192 complaints – including an
analysis of the content of 67 Military Police investigations into
various types of severe harm to Palestinian civilians and their
property – reveals that 96.5 percent of the total number of complaints
are closed without indictments.
The reasons for this are varied – the lack of Military Police bases in
the West Bank, professional shortcomings in the Military Police
investigations, victims who retract complaints for fear of losing
permits or suffering harm at the hands of soldiers they have
complained against. But the conclusion is obvious: When it comes to
shooting a Palestinian, pulling the trigger does not come with a real
fear of having to answer to the law.
On the day Tamimi was killed, Chaim Levinson published a report in
Haaretz that dealt with the failings of the Israel Police’s Judea and
Samaria District with regard to investigations into harm to
Concerning the killing of 10-year-old girl Abir Aramin
by the IDF in early 2007, the High Court of Justice ruled that the
incident was improperly handled; and to date, no one has been called
on to answer for the 2009 killing of demonstrator Bassem Abu Rahme.
Will the death of Mustafa Tamimi be added to the statistics that show
that in Israel, the life of a Palestinian is cheap?