This is not the type of thing I normally write about. Not because it isn’t important, but because some issues are too big, complex, emotional, incendiary, and controversial for me to get a handle on. But this week I was swept up in this tragedy, so I want to include it here.
This was originally part of the round-up post I’ll be publishing shortly. But it got so big, and it is important enough to merit it’s own post. So in some ways it covers all the links to the event, reactions, lack of reaction, photos, video… And in other ways I still don’t feel it’s a complete post. I would normally give some background on the conflict, on Nabi Saleh, on the laws governing protests in the West Bank (or in other words — why Palestinians don’t get even the basic right to assemble)… I might share my own feelings about this, bring other examples of similar incidents, some statistics… But this is what I can do right now (and this is why I generally don’t do this kind of post!)
The short version: Mustafa Tamimi was a Palestinian who on December 9, 2011, participated in a protest (which takes place every week) in Nabi Saleh, a village near Ramallah (read more about the struggle in Nabi Saleh here). He was shot by an Israeli soldier, in the face, at close range, by a tear gas grenade (crowd control weapon designed for launching into the air; all prescriptive uses of this grenade launcher call for this use only, including the IDF’s own regulations). He died from his wounds.
Articles telling the story:
Here is a news article covering the story: Nabi Saleh Palestinian Shot In Head With Tear Gas Canister (warning: includes graphic photos)
Here is a chilling first person account of the event by Palestinian activist Linah Alsaafin.
And another by Ibrahim Bornat.
Here is a video of the protest:
Here is a video that includes a photo sequence of the shooting
(warning: graphic photos)
Here is a Facebook photo album of the entire Nabi Saleh protest, including photos of Mustafa Tamimi being shot (warning: graphic photos)
.Here is the Israeli government’s response
“Palestinian Protester Death an Exceptional Incident, Say IDF Officials”
Here is a video proving it is NOT an exceptional incident, but rather a policy, “informal” as it may be:
And to add insult and injury on top of injury and insult, the Israeli military attacks mourners at Tamimi’s funeral
Human Rights for Palestinians?
The irony of Tamimi’s killing occurring on Human Right’s Day is not lost upon many of us.