Israel arrests child with one-third of his skull missing

Muhammad Fadel Tamimi, 15, was detained in a night raid in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, 26 February. In December he was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier and is awaiting surgery to reattach one third of his skull.

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Israeli occupation forces raided the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh in the predawn hours of Monday in the latest episode of Israel’s premeditated revenge campaign against the Tamimi family.

They detained Muhammad Fadel Tamimi, the 15-year-old boy shot in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet at close range and seriously injured by Israeli forces in December.

Bassem Tamimi, the father of detained teenager Ahed Tamimi, wrote on Facebook Monday morning that a large force of Israeli soldiers armed with weaponized bulldozers and skunk water raided homes in the village during the night and detained 10 people.

Six of those arrested were children, the youngest aged 14, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society. They included Muhammad’s 17-year-old brother Tamim.

Bassem said that Muhammad Fadel Tamimi’s detention put the child’s life at risk.

Since the boy was shot, one third of his skull has been removed and he is awaiting major restorative surgery to put it back in.

The Israeli army confirmed that Muhammad Fadel Tamimi was arrested and released after being interrogated. “His arrest was approved by a military physician,” the army said, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The others had not been released, a Tamimi family member told The Electronic Intifada.

The online publication Quds posted this video of Israeli soldiers carrying assault rifles arresting brothers Islam Saleh Tamimi, 21, and Omar Saleh Tamimi, 29, from their home:

Quds posted this video of Israeli forces raiding the village:

Facebook apparently restricted the account of extended family member Manal Tamimi as she was livestreaming the Israeli raid.

This may be another example of the social media behemoth’s extensive collusion with Israel and its military occupation.

Shot in the head

Muhammad recounts how he was shot by an Israeli soldier, in this video posted by Haaretz two weeks after the 15 December incident:

Muhammad says he had been out with other people during protests against Israel’s theft of the village’s land for settlement construction.

He says that he stood up on a wall near where the protests had taken place. “I didn’t know the army was there, I didn’t see a single soldier,” Muhammad states. “And then he [the soldier] shot me and I lost consciousness.”

Defense for Children International-Palestine reported, citing an eyewitness, that Israeli forces shot Tamimi “shortly after clashes had ended” in Nabi Saleh.

According to the eyewitness, the group stated, “Israeli forces appeared to have exited the area around 4 pm when an Israeli soldier shot Muhammad in the face with a rubber-coated metal bullet at close range.”

Following difficult, life-saving surgeries, Muhammad says he is now restricted to his home for six months because of the missing part of his skull.

Revenge

It was immediately after Muhammad’s shooting that his cousins Ahed and Nour were filmed slapping and shoving two heavily armed Israeli soldiers in an effort to remove them from the family’s property.

Bassem Tamimi has alleged that one of the soldiers was responsible for shooting Muhammad, but given the systematic impunity Israel affords its personnel there has been no credible investigation.

After video of Ahed confronting the soldiers went viral, Israeli occupation forces detained her, her mother Nariman and her cousin Nour.

They are being subjected to military trials in kangaroo courts with a near-100 percent conviction rate.

Angered by the supposed humiliation their occupation forces by Palestinian civilians defending their homes, Israeli leaders vowed revenge against the Tamimis, an extended family renowned for its role in Nabi Saleh’s determined nonviolent resistance to Israel’s theft of village land.

Education minister Naftali Bennett told army radio that Ahed and the Tamimi women seen in the video “should finish their lives in prison.”

Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman promised collective punishment, telling Israeli media that “Everyone involved, not only the girl but also her parents and those around them will not escape from what they deserve.”

Family sacrifices

According to Manal Tamimi, three members of the family have been killed by Israeli forces since the nonviolence campaign began in 2009, the latest being Musab Tamimi, a 16-year-old boy shot dead in the West Bank village of Deir Nitham on 3 January.

He was the first Palestinian to be killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2018.

In all, according to Manal, 22 members of the Tamimi family have been killed by Israeli forces since 1976.

Meanwhile, it emerged in January that a senior Israeli official, Michael Oren, sought to investigate the Tamimis, alleging that they were not a real family but rather a group of “blond, blue-eyed and light-skinned” actors hired to “make Israel look bad.”

Oren was born Michael Bornstein in upstate New York, but changed his name and later renounced his American citizenship in order to be appointed Israeli ambassador to the United States.

He participated in the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and was later army spokesperson during Israel’s attacks on Lebanon in 2006 and on Gaza in 2008 – assaults that involved massive violence and atrocities against civilians – of the kind Oren makes a habit of denying.

Solidarity

Freedom for Ahed, who has already endured more than two months in Israeli prison, has become an international rallying cry for supporters of the Palestinian liberation struggle.

Ahed, who turned 17 in a prison cell on 31 January, is one more than 300 Palestinian children currently in Israeli military detention.

Earlier this month, Chile’s government urged Ahed’s “prompt release.”

The European Union, which usually remains muted about Israeli human rights abuses, has expressed its “concern” over Ahed’s detention.

Her case has even attracted the attention of celebrities such as American comedian Sarah Silverman, a liberal supporter of Israel, who has faced an intense backlash from anti-Palestinian voices because earlier this month she tweeted Amnesty International’s call for Ahed’s immediate release:

Prominent Black public figures have also called on US lawmakers to endorse a bill that would prohibit US aid to Israel being used for the military detention, torture and abuse of Palestinian children like Ahed, Muhammad and their cousins.

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Now what?? Dig up a child dead body, arrest the corpse by approved by a "military physician" (Dr. Mengele would approve), drag it into a kangaroo court, give it administrative detention for months, based on "secret evidence" and "throwing stones" - no need to talk about stealing land, water, and lives? "Angered by the supposed humiliation their occupation forces"?? Colonial settler constructs and its Imperial masters (and her quislings) should be humiliated. Have you no shame?

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This is a classic case of adding insult to injury!

Fifteen year old Muhammad Fadel Tamimi was shot by the Israeli Defence Force with a rubber tipped metal bullet which took away a 1/3 of his skull and now the Zionist regime wants to interrogate him.

The cold blooded, arrogant, violent, human rights abusing, racist, apartheid regime of Israel (which is on Palestinian land) is a dangerous threat to peace in the Middle East.

After WW2, terrorism was used by the Zionist terrorist gangs to stampede Palestinians off their lands and the British Army stood by and did nothing but watch the slaughter. Some British soldiers were even victims.

Last year, Gideon Levi, the famous Israeli journalist and activist for Palestinian human rights, delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture an annual event organised by the Australian Friends of Palestine and the University of Adelaide.

He outlined many of the crimes and human rights abuses that are perpetrated against the Palestinians by Israel and he urged those attending to support the international Boycott Divest Sanction (BDS) movement.

The world needs to know that there are many "righteous Jews" and Jewish organisations around the world who deplore how the regime in Israel treats the Palestinian people.

One of the things we can do to protest these crimes and human rights abuses is to participate in the BDS campaign and encourage others to do the same.

In addition, we need to put pressure on our political leaders who refuse to criticise Israel and refuse to recognise the state of Palestine.

They should also be voting at the UN to encourage all member nations to fully support the Boycott Divest Sanction movement. The racist, apartheid system in South Africa collapsed after a similar international campaign.

And remember, opposing the crimes of Zionism is not being anti Semitic, it is an act to support justice, freedom, human rights and democracy in the Middle East.

Freedom to the Palestinians!

Ali Abunimah

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.