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Rushdi Tamimi becomes second victim of Israeli army in Nabi Saleh

Juicebox Gallery

By Editor - November 21, 2012
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [Nabi Saleh]

Photos by E. Van R and Lazar Simeonov.

On Tuesday November 21st, the body of 31 year old Rushdi Tamimi was laid to rest in the small cemetery in his village of Nabi Saleh.

Rushdi was among a group of protesters from his village who demonstrated on Saturday against the Israeli military incursion on Gaza. He was shot at three times, twice by rubber bullets and once by live ammunition in his torso.

The Israeli army prevented villagers, medics and family members from reaching Rushdi in order to move him to an ambulance for over twenty minutes. Eventually, he was evacuated to Ramallah Hospital, were he was immediately operated on for ruptures in his intestines and two of his arteries. On Monday late afternoon, Rushdi passed away in the hospital after succumbing to his wounds.

Almost a year ago in December 2011, 28 year old Mustafa Tamimi was killed during the village’s Friday protest after an Israeli occupation soldier shot at his face with a tear gas canister from a distance of three meters. It was the first murder the Israeli army had committed in the village, and without any reparations or accountability brought to the soldier who pulled the trigger, it is more likely there was going to be another chance that the army would repeat their policy of “killing with impunity.”

Since the beginning of the nonviolent popular resistance movement back in 2003, almost two dozen unarmed Palestinians have been killed in protests, five coming from the village of Ni’lin alone.

Rushdi Tamimi, father of 2 and a half year old Shatha, was a policeman and a favorite figure for children in the village. He worked as a policeman and was buried in his uniform, after a funeral procession that set off from Ramallah Hospital to the city center was attended by police officers, some marching silently in rigid formation, others sitting formerly in the pick up truck Rushdi’s body was in.

The funeral march continued on passed Atara checkpoint, where the Israeli border police officers were present, eyeing the masked youth who had gathered opposite them from a distance. Once the procession reached Nabi Saleh, clashes broke out at Atara as the youth threw rocks at the Israeli border police, who in turn responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Following Rushdi’s burial, the Israeli army entered the village and began shooting rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas as the protesters who had made their way to the land near the military watchtower at the entrance of Nabi Saleh. Live ammunition was heard once and briefly in the late afternoon, and the skunk trunk entered and sprayed the main road next to the gas station. A couple of protesters were injured lightly by rubber bullets.

The killing of unarmed protesters in Nabi Saleh and elsewhere at the hands of the Israeli army must not go unchecked without accountability and justice done.  The international community has a role to apply significant pressure on their governments to put an end to Israel’s culture of impunity.

Rushdi’s death only strengthened the protesters’ resolve in resisting against the Israeli occupation. As the chants reverberated from Ramallah to Nabi Saleh, “O martyr rest in peace, and we will continue the struggle.”



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