A year after the killing of Mustafa Tamimi, a campaign launched to expose his murderers

Last Friday and Saturday, residents in the village of Nabi Saleh north west of Ramallah, held memorial events for Mustafa and Rushdi Tamimi.  Both were killed by Israeli soldiers during the past year. Activists exposed the identity of two soldiers involved in Mustafa’s murder.

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Last year on December 9th, Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year old resident of Nabi Saleh, was shot by soldiers a few feet away directly in the face by a tear-gas projectile during the weekly protest in the village. Mustafa collapsed to the asphalt bleeding. Although multiple eye witnesses claimed he died moments after being shot, Mustafa Tamimi was transferred to the hospital where he was announced dead in the early hours of Saturday, December 10th, 2011. 

The Israeli army began an investigation of the incident, but after a year it has led to no conclusions with no one brought to justice.  The conduct and conclusions of these investigations are usual of most cases of Israeli soldiers or settlers involved in attacking Palestinians. Activists commemorated Mustafa’s death and exposed the identity of two Israeli soldiers involved in the killing in a campaign called “Who Killed Mustafa Tamimi.”  According to the activists, one soldier has been identified as Aviram Boniel, the soldier who opened the back of the military jeep and shot two tear gas canisters directly at Mustafa’s face from a few feet away.  The other soldier, Lieutenant Colonel Shay Ben Yshai, is the direct commander of Aviram Boniel and has therefore been identified as “a full accomplice covering up his crime” according to activists leading the campaign.  

Ikhlas Tamimi, mother of martyr Mustafa Tamimi, said: “My grief is doubled, first for losing my beloved son, and second knowing that his murderers have not been brought to justice. It is not only about one or two soldiers, it is the Israeli Occupation.” 

A month ago, on November 17th, Rushdi Tamimi (31) was shot during clashes that erupted in the village of Nabi Saleh, after Israeli soldiers entered the village following a protest residents held against the assault on Gaza.  During the clashes soldiers used extensive live ammunition bullets, rubber coated steel bullets, and tear gas.  

According to eyewitnesses, Rushdi Tamimi was shot first with a rubber coated steel bullet that hit him in the back and he fell on the ground.  Afterward, soldiers shot him again, this time with a live ammunition bullet which entered through his hip and into his gut. When soldiers came closer to Rushdi, they gave him a blow to the head with the butt of one of their rifles, even though he told them he was injured, and then shot him with another rubber coated steel bullet in the stomach.  Soldiers then attempted to drag him through the rocky terrain instead of providing him with medical treatment.  They continued to shoot live ammunition towards residents and prevented them, including Rushdi’s sister Nariman Tamimi, from approaching him and bringing him to an ambulance while saying, “I don’t care” and “it’s not my problem.”