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Israel closes case on killing of Palestinian activist
Published Thursday 05/12/2013 (updated) 07/12/2013 13:40
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Mustafa al-Tamimi, 28, was taking part in a Friday protest against
the wall in Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah, when he was hit in
the face by the tear gas canister, medics said.(AFP/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's Military Advocate General's Corps said Thursday that it decided to close an investigation into the death of Mustafa Tamimi, who was killed in 2011 after an Israeli soldier fired a tear-gas canister at him from point-blank range.

In a letter to Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, Military Advocate for Operational Matters Lt. Col. Ronen Hirsch said that the canister which killed Tamimi was fired "according to the relevant rules and regulations and did not involve any illegality."

The MAG Corps said it accepted the claim of the soldier that he did not see Tamimi while shooting the canister.

The Israeli body said it also relied on expert opinion which stated that the Israeli soldier could not see the Palestinian activist while firing.

"The decision not to file an indictment against the soldier who killed Mustafa Tamimi, nor against his commanders, conveys the indifference of the military law enforcement system to the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank, and specifically towards Tamimi's death," B'Tselem said.

"This decision sends Israeli soldiers and officers the unequivocal message that, should they kill unarmed civilians, they will not be held accountable."

The rights group said it filed a complaint with Israel's Military Police Investigations Unit hours after Tamimi was shot, and the fact it took two years to reach a decision "demonstrates the failures of the military investigation system."

B'Tselem rejected MAG Corps explanation that the case was a "complicated operational investigation that poses significant challenges", claiming that the killing of Tamimi was "relatively simple" and "visually well-documented."

"Under such circumstances, it is only a matter of time before yet another unarmed Palestinian civilian is killed in this way. For Palestinians in the West Bank, the decision is a clear message that they cannot expect justice from Israel’s legal system," the group said.

In September, Israel's army closed an investigation into the killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh, 30, who died after being shot in the chest with a tear gas canister at close range.

The Israeli military's prosecutor general decided that there was a lack of evidence in the case, despite video footage from three different angles which showed that Abu Rahmah did not act violently and did not endanger the soldiers in any way.

On Monday, B'Tselem released video footage of an Israeli soldier deliberately firing tear gas canisters at a Palestinian volunteer in Beit Ummar.

B'Tselem volunteer videographer Muhammad Awad was struck in the chest and treated at hospital following the incident.

"The firing of tear gas canisters directly at individuals is a routine practice by soldiers and border police officers in the West Bank," B'Tselem said following the incident.

"It has already claimed the lives of two people and has injured dozens of others in recent years. The military, however, continues to deny such a practice exists and avoids addressing it systematically."
1 ) ronen / israel
05/12/2013 18:31
if a palestinian who killed an israeli shoul be freed from prison then it only seems fair

2 ) Tobias / USA
05/12/2013 20:25
And what was Mustafa Tamimi trying to do to an Israeli soldier,
that would explain why he was within point-blank range ??

3 ) Arnold / Canada
05/12/2013 20:56
As long as the weekly protests remain confrontational rather than peaceful the chances of this happening again are real.

4 ) Julie / USA
06/12/2013 00:12
"For Palestinians in the West Bank, the decision is a clear message that they cannot expect justice from Israel’s legal system," ... they never could expect justice, and they never will. even a moron can see how izrael is criminally UNjust.

5 ) Rahul / UK
06/12/2013 00:29
Tobias - he was exercising his right to protest against the military occupation of his village. What would you do? Sit on your hands? Arnold - as long as commentators like you keep telling oppressed people how they should protest, you will never understand what struggle means, what solidarity means, and what freedom means. You are just reinforcing your own moralistic superiority.

6 ) gabi / australia
06/12/2013 00:49
# 1 ronen - Surprised you can't see the difference - the Palestinian has served 20 years and this bloke is not to serve any time. #2 Tobias - thought you might come in to justify this. #3 Arnold - again, more Israeli apologists defending the indefensible.

7 ) southparkbear / usa
06/12/2013 02:13
justice prevailed

8 ) myra / canada
06/12/2013 03:25
Hard to believe the treatment one gets for wanting your voices heard.especially being unarmed.brave and courageous to protest at all given the fact they may be shot down .If they use tear gas canister and rubber coated bullets do not make it sound any less violent towards the occupied people of Palestine.

9 ) southparkbear / usa
06/12/2013 13:48
the case is flawed so it was right to close it sooner. after all the guy is activist no more

10 ) Rachamim Dwek / Israel
06/12/2013 16:15
Rahul: "His village" happens to be Nabi Saleh, which means "Prophet Saleh." Saleh, in Hebrew, is "Shelach." Shelach was the son of Yehudah (Judah), so that we are talking about an ancient Jewish village Occupied by Arabs. In fact, the tomb of Shalech sits in the village, proving unquestionably that it- like the entire "West Bank" around it is Jewish land. That said, the protest was not by villagers, but by ISM, Western Anarchists who manipulate Arabs for partisan objectives.

11 ) Mel / USA
06/12/2013 17:45
Israel's army CLOSES all cases with extremist superglue so they can't be opened again.Why would the militarist,occupying,ideological State of Zionism open any case for fair justice,when Israel sees &mutual justice & equality as a threat?The soldier is a military OCCUPIER defending a Jews-only illegal expansion(like1930's"pan-German"Aryan dream of lebensraum).Mustafa was legally RESISTING such oppression &protected by ALL international laws.Laws Israel ignores coz its sponsor USG ignores them TOO

12 ) @ Gabi-6 / Justification
06/12/2013 18:19
It is so nice to be expected, and there is NO "Justification" required, since:
-a- Neither of us can possibly know the facts, other than a tear-gas canister killed him at close range. But
-b- It is Likely that the dead man ran at the soldier with violent intent, and
-c- It is also highly UNlikely that the soldier ran up to man, so
-d- A SELF-DEFENSE IS at least possible, if not the most LIKELY scenario, and
-e- There is NO "Justification" in assuming Jews are always guilty !!!!

13 ) @ Rachamim-10 / USA
06/12/2013 18:31
Regarding word meanings, and ancient connections:
- "Navi, or Nabi, (??????) means "Prophet" in Hebrew (likely Arabic too), and
- "Saleh, or ??li? (صالح‎), means "Pious" in Arabic, and
- the Tomb of the Hebrew Prophet Samuel (an ultra-pious man)
is located in the town, from which the town gets its name,
- Nabi Samwill, now Nabi Saleh.

14 ) Carlos / usa
06/12/2013 19:33
Rachamim Dwek/ israel do you really believe the garbage you write? The occupying Arabs bought the land from previous inhabitants or inherited it. To claim a foreigner who calls himself an israeli has a right to land he never purchased shows how similar israeli's are to Nazi's. All property owned by minorities went to the superior race, Germans for Nazi's and Jews for israeli's. israel takes the Mein Kampf to heart.

15 ) southparkbear / usa
07/12/2013 10:03
surely such a good plot will have a sequel. so let's see what can we say next time
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