Middle East Eye / June 5, 2023
Two-year-old Muhammad Tamimi was hit in the head by army fire in the West Bank.
Muhammad Tamimi and his father Haytham Tamimi were hit by Israeli fire near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
The pair were in their parked car outside their home in Nabi Saleh village when they were targeted, according to eyewitnesses.
Haytham was shot in the chest and taken to a hospital in Ramallah while Muhammad was seriously wounded in the head and evacuated to an Israeli hospital, where he remained on life support until he was pronounced dead this morning.
The Israeli military admitted to shooting the toddler and his father, saying they mistook them for Palestinian fighters.
The army said in a statement that they were returning fire at a group of Palestinian fighters who allegedly targeted a settlement nearby with live fire minutes earlier.
However, Basem Tamimi, a family relative and local activist, told Middle East Eye that Muhammad and Haytham were in a car and about to drive away. As soon as the car moved, Israeli soldiers shot at them.
“Israeli forces were located near the house and fired lives bullets at the car,” Basem said.
Shaky footage taken by a resident reportedly shows the pair badly injured in a parked car outside their home.
Nabi Saleh, a small village located northwest of Ramallah, has long been in the spotlight due to being the location of various demonstrations against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. Because of this, it has been under heightened pressure from Israeli forces, who regularly carry out raids in the area.
According to Basem, at least 27 village residents have been killed since 1967, 400 wounded since 2009, and a further 400 arrested.
He said the arrests and violence are part of an Israeli policy “to break the will of this generation”.
Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 119 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year and a further 34 in the Gaza Strip.
At least 25 children have been killed overall.
Lubna Masarwa is a journalist and Middle East Eye’s Palestine and Israel bureau chief, based in Jerusalem
Palestinian toddler dies after being shot by troops
Maureen Clare Murphy
The Electronic Intifada / June 6, 2023
A Palestinian toddler died from his injuries on Monday, four days after he was shot by Israeli troops in Nabi Saleh, a village near Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.
Defense for Children International-Palestine said that Muhammad Haitham Ibrahim Tamimi, 2, was in the back of his father’s car outside their home on Thursday evening “when Israeli forces opened fire indiscriminately.”
The rights group added that the boy was struck in the head and his father was hit in the shoulder. Muhammad was airlifted to a hospital near Tel Aviv, where he later died.
The Israeli military claims that Palestinian gunmen had opened fire on a nearby Jewish settlement from Nabi Saleh and that troops stationed at an army post returned fire.
The Times of Israel claimed in a headline that Muhammad was “mistakenly shot.”
But even if the soldier did not intend to injure the child, the use of indiscriminate fire in a Palestinian community demonstrates a reckless disregard for Palestinian lives.
“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,” stated Ayed Abu Eqtaish, a program director for Defense for Children International-Palestine.
“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,” Abu Eqtaish added.
“This is a war crime with no consequence.”
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Monday that Hassan al-Tamimi, the slain child’s uncle, said that the family intends to take Muhammad’s case to the International Criminal Court.
Several people in the village have been killed in recent years – including two in separate incidents in 2022. Others have been seriously injured and imprisoned by Israeli forces, as residents resist against the occupation and settlements, particularly Halamish, which is built on Nabi Saleh land.
Israeli forces have killed at least two dozen Palestinian children since the beginning of the year, 20 of them in the West Bank.
Six Palestinian children were killed during Israel’s military offensive in Gaza during May; initial reports indicate that two of those boys and girls may have died as a result of a rocket that fell short of its target in Israel.
Additionally, a 10-year-old boy died as a result of head wounds sustained during an Israeli strike on Gaza in August 2022.
Twenty-four Israelis and people of other nationalities were killed by Palestinians in the context of the occupation since the beginning of the year, or died from injuries sustained previously. Four of them were children.
Additionally, three Israeli soldiers were shot and killed by an Egyptian officer along the border between the two countries on Saturday. The Egyptian officer was killed in a shootout that ensued after he was discovered by troops combing the area.
Meanwhile, Jewish settlers attacked Burqa, a town in the northern West Bank, on Sunday, throwing stones at residents and their homes.
Late last month, settlers began leveling land in Homesh, a settlement outpost built on land belonging to Palestinians in Burqa.
Settlers invaded Burqa and set fire to several structures in the village after a European-led delegation of diplomats visited the community.
The UN monitoring group OCHA has recorded some 300 Jewish settler attacks in the West Bank resulting in property damage this year, and more than 100 resulting in injury or death.
Maureen Clare Murphy is senior editor of The Electronic Intifada
Palestinian toddler shot by Israeli troops in West Bank dies of wounds
AP / June 5, 2023
NEBI SALEH, West Bank – A Palestinian toddler who was shot by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank last week died of his wounds on Monday, Israeli hospital officials said.
Mohammed al-Tamimi was shot in the head last Thursday near his village of Nebi Saleh while riding in a car with his father. He was airlifted to Israel’s Sheba Hospital, which announced the 2-year-old boy’s death.
The Israeli military has said soldiers opened fire after gunmen in the area shot at a nearby Jewish settlement.
But the boy’s father, Haitham al-Tamimi, told The Associated Press that he had just buckled up his son in the car and they were driving to visit an uncle when the bullet struck. The father was also shot and treated at a Palestinian hospital.
People gathered at the family’s home on Monday after hearing of the boy’s death.
“I hope this message will be heard: Innocence and childhood are sacred,” the boy’s father told reporters. He accused Israel of targeting “unarmed people, whether young or old, under the pretext of self-defense.”
“A person in his home and unarmed receives this treatment?” he said.
The Israeli military has opened an investigation into the incident.
Rights groups, however, say that such investigations rarely lead to prosecution or disciplinary action against soldiers.
The shooting was the latest bloodshed in a more than yearlong surge of violence in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem. That fighting has picked up since Israel’s new far-right government took office in late December.
Nearly 120 Palestinians have been killed in the two areas this year, with nearly half of them members of armed militant groups, according to an AP tally. The military says the number of militants is much higher. But stone-throwing youths and people uninvolved in violence have also been killed.
Meanwhile, Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis in those areas have killed at least 21 people.
Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, along with the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians seek these territories for a future state.
Some 700,000 Jewish settlers now live in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers these settlements illegal or obstacles to peace.