Celebrated Palestinian resistance fighter killed in combat

People hold two identical posters side by side showing the face of a bald man wearing sunglasses

Palestinians in Gaza City on Thursday take part in a rally honoring Udai Tamimi, a resistance fighter killed during a firefight in the occupied West Bank the night before.

Youssef Abu Watfa APA images

The Palestinian who fatally shot an Israeli soldier at a Jerusalem checkpoint earlier this month was killed Wednesday night as he carried out another attack against Israeli personnel.

Udai Tamimi, who killed Israeli soldier Noa Lazar on 8 October, shot at Israeli security guards near the Maaleh Adumim settlement built on occupied Palestinian land, east of Jerusalem.

Dramatic video shows Tamimi firing toward the direction of the camera. Despite being under fire himself, he continues to shoot even as he lies on the ground for more than 20 seconds.

He then appears to try to reload his gun, but is incapacitated before he can do so. He was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene.

An Israeli settlement security guard was treated for shrapnel wounds to his hand.

Tamimi became a popular hero after killing the Israeli soldier near Shuafat refugee camp on 8 October and escaping without being captured by occupation forces. The 22-year-old hailed from the camp.

His attack at Shuafat came after intense army raids in the West Bank during which Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in 24 hours, all teenagers, three of them children.

Video of that incident shows him calmly exiting a vehicle, walking towards a group of soldiers and security guards and shooting them at point-blank range before disappearing.

Israeli occupation forces sealed off Shuafat refugee camp for days trying to find him. His reappearance at Maaleh Adumim, far from the camp and having evaded Israeli forces for 10 days, will be a major embarrassment for Israel.

Widespread support

Tamimi’s mother told media that though she felt pain, she also felt at peace. “I had entrusted my son to God, that he would take care of him and protect him,” she said.

She spoke of her son as faithful and dutiful, always wanting to help and take care of her when she had been in poor health. “He was a hero, thank God,” she added.

Palestinians from all over historic Palestine rallied for Tamimi on Thursday, an expression of strong popular support for armed resistance against Israeli occupation forces.

There were marches and strikes in towns and refugee camps throughout the West Bank:

Tamimi received support from Palestinians in Gaza as well, where police saluted in front of posters showing his picture:
Even before he died on Wednesday night, Tamimi had achieved legendary status.

Young men in Shuafat refugee camp were shaving their heads – not only to look like him in solidarity – but to make it more difficult for Israeli occupation forces to spot him.

The Lions Den

There has also been widespread support all over historic Palestine for the Lions Den, a group of Palestinian fighters based in Nablus which claimed responsibility for the killing of another Israeli soldier this month.

Israel has not captured the person or persons who carried out that attack.

On Monday night, the Lions Den called on Palestinians to go out onto their rooftops just after midnight on Tuesday to express their support.

“Every citizen who is capable of fighting with anything, be fully prepared,” the group said on its Telegram channel.

Videos seen by The Electronic Intifada indicate that thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in cities and refugee camps in the occupied West Bank in response to the group’s call.

Scores of Nablus residents gathered in the streets chanting slogans in support of the resistance group.

Lions Den, which is not known to be associated with any particular political faction, emerged in August. It is associated with Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a young resistance fighter killed along with one of his comrades in an Israeli attack on Nablus that month.

Its calls on people to show their support – which have been answered in force – along with a popular anthem celebrating the courage and skills of its members, have engaged and captured the imagination of Palestinians.

The new resistance group has bedeviled Israel, which has so far proven unable to defeat it despite escalating its attacks and repression in and around Nablus.

The United Nations said Tuesday that it was “concerned” about the extreme restrictions on movement in Nablus imposed by Israeli occupation authorities, which limit Palestinian access to “healthcare, education and livelihoods.”

Large shows of support for the group in the heart of Ramallah will be particularly embarrassing to the Palestinian Authority, which has its headquarters there.

The PA, which works closely with Israel to try to crush Palestinian resistance, has been losing its grip on key cities in the West Bank, especially Jenin and Nablus in the north, where armed resistance to the occupation has re-emerged and is gaining support.

The PA deployed its forces in Nablus around the same time residents were demonstrating Tuesday night in support of the Lions Den:
In the West Bank village of Silwad, similar demonstrations took place:
A similar chorus of support – in direct response to the Lions Dens’ call – echoed across Jenin refugee camp:
Palestinians in Gaza, where armed resistance has a stronghold, are also rallying to their comrades in the West Bank.

“We are also observing with pride, glory and honor the heroic and stubborn resistance growing in the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem,” the joint operations room of armed factions in Gaza said last Friday.

“We look at the extent of humiliation and subjugation that the enemy feels as a result of your heroism, stubbornness and insistence on teaching him lessons that he will not forget.”

Deadly year

This has been the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2006, according to the United Nations.

Since the start of 2022, Israeli forces have killed at least 105 Palestinians, including 26 children, in the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

The number tops 150 when Gaza and areas inside present-day Israel are included.

An average of one Palestinian per day was killed in the occupied West Bank this month, including six children.

“Hardly a day passes without murders in the cities and villages of the West Bank,” the Palestinian Center for Human rights said earlier this week.

Boy looks over man's body while surrounding by people

Mujahed Muhammad Ahmad Daoud’s son grieves over his father’s body in the occupied West Bank city of Salfit on 16 October.

Wajed Nobani APA images

Mujahed Muhammad Daoud, a 30-year-old Palestinian plasterer, died from his wounds on Sunday after Israeli soldiers shot at Palestinians near a medical center a day earlier.

Israeli occupation forces surrounded the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan and attempted to confiscate a bulldozer from villagers harvesting olive trees on their land, on the pretext that this was in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank that remains under full Israeli military control.

The villagers responded by throwing stones at the military.

Israeli occupation forces fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and teargas canisters at Palestinians, according to PCHR. A child and a teen were wounded by Israeli live fire and taken to a nearby medical center where villagers followed them.

Israeli forces arrived at the medical center and started firing again at Palestinians, wounding three, including Daoud with a live bullet in the chest.

Daoud had been working at a nearby house and had gone down to see what was going on.

A Palestinian child succumbed to his wounds on Thursday after he was shot by Israeli forces on 28 September.

Muhammad Fadi Hani Nouri, 16, was shot in the “abdomen with live ammunition while he stood about 100 meters away from the Ramallah-area Bet El Israeli checkpoint watching confrontations,” Defense for Children International-Palestine said.

The West Bank appears to have entered a new phase of resistance.

While Israel’s deadly crackdowns, restrictions, raids and arrests aim to quell this resistance, they have only fueled and encouraged it.

Israeli military correspondent Amir Bohbot of Walla News quoted Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz remarking on the emerging situation.

“A new generation is growing up in the Palestinian Authority, which does not belong to any organization,” Gantz said.

He claimed that about two-thirds of the Palestinians who carried out armed actions in the last year were not alive during the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising of two decades ago. Very few experienced the first intifada of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Gantz should understand from this that no level of Israeli violence and repression will subjugate the Palestinian people or convince them to live quietly under a regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

But Gantz, like every previous generation of Israeli leaders – and indeed like colonial leaders throughout history elsewhere – has so far proven totally incapable of that basic insight.

Ali Abunimah contributed reporting.


Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.