Rage after Israeli soldier shoots and kills Palestinian toddler Mohammad Tamimi

A house raid in Nabi Salih
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On 1 June, an Israeli soldier stationed at a temporary checkpoint shot Haitham Tamimi and his two-and-a-half-year-old son Mohammad with live ammunition. Mohammad died from his wounds days later. His death brings the total number of children killed by Israeli forces to 27 this year alone.

Haitham and Mohammad were in the village of Nabi Saleh, where they both lived.

After the shooting, soldiers stormed the village and opened fire on residents. 17-year-old Wissam Al-Tamimi was standing on the roof of his house. He suffered a fractured skull when soldiers shot him with sponge-tipped ammunition. Sponge-tipped rounds are supposedly designed to be non-lethal, but in reality they can cause lethal injuries.

Bilal Al-Tamimi is a journalist and volunteer with the B’Tselem human rights organisation. Soldiers hit his house repeatedly with live ammunition. Despite the fact that Bilal was wearing a press uniform and helmet, a soldier shot him at close range, breaking his wrist.

Soldiers injured many other residents with live ammunition and sponge-tipped rounds.

Two days later, on Saturday 3 June, the army raided homes in Nabi Saleh. The soldiers beat up one young man.

‘I want justice’

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a group working to support Palestinian grassroots resistance to the occupation. Mohammad’s mother told ISM:

Read on...

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I want justice for my son, and for every person who shot at my husband and son to be held accountable

Local resident Manal Tamimi explained the motivations for the attacks. She said that the violence of the military goes hand in hand with the intimidation from Israeli settlers:

The incitement for this attack stems from the settlers’ repeated attempts to intimidate the villagers, with the most recent incident occurring just last week. In light of these distressing events, we urgently call upon the international community to ensure the protection of this small village, with a population not exceeding 650 people.

She went on to add:

It is imperative that international humanitarian law and international treaties are upheld, and immediate action is taken to halt the repeated attacks by both the occupation forces and settlers. Over the past decade alone, these aggressions have tragically resulted in the martyrdom of five young individuals from the village.

Nabi Saleh is famous for its resistance to settlement expansion – and to the occupation in general. It is also one of the villages where women have taken a leading role in organising resistance. The residents have paid a high price for its resistance, as the army constantly invades and harasses the village. Israeli incursions have killed six people from Nabi Saleh since 2011. Mohammad’s death brings that total to seven.

Mohammad Tamimi’s killing ‘a war crime’

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, who is the accountability program director at Defence for Children International Palestine, condemned Mohammad’s killing:

Firing live ammunition indiscriminately in a residential neighborhood where there is no threat to an Israeli soldier’s life is a clear violation of the Israeli military’s own policies

He continued:

Unlawful killings of Palestinian children have become the norm as Israeli forces become increasingly empowered to use intentional lethal force in situations that are not justified. This is a war crime with no consequence

A brutal attack on mourners

Villagers held a funeral for Mohammad on 6 June. During the funeral, Israeli soldiers invaded the village for the third time since shooting Mohammad. Six people were hospitalised.

ISM shared a video of the army entering the village after fatally injuring Mohammad. It was recorded by Nariman Tamimi, just before she too was hospitalised after a soldier struck her in the face with his rifle. It is taken from the soldiers’ perspective, and doesn’t show the people being shot at. However, it demonstrates the type of military force that is routinely used by the army in Nabi Saleh, and which is causing deaths in the village:


The people of Nabi Saleh, like in so many villages across Palestine, are steadfastly resisting the Israeli occupation’s constant attacks. They are calling for international solidarity and support.

One of the organisations that has been supporting the residents’ resistance for years is the Palestinian-led ISM. Find out how to join ISM’s work in Palestine here.

Featured image via screenshot / Quds News Network

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