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Father of photographer critically wounded at West Bank protest: ‘This is life under occupation’

Israel/Palestine
Mohammad working as a volunteer photographer for B'tselem, wearing his gas mask and press jacket and carrying his camera.

Mohammad Basman Yasin working as a volunteer photographer for B’tselem, wearing his gas mask and press jacket and carrying his camera. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

21 year old Mohammad Basman Yasin was critically wounded by Israeli forces while working as a volunteer photographer with B’tselem, documenting the demonstration in Bitunya on Friday 4 April.

The demonstration took place near Ofer prison, protesting against the Israeli governments failure to release the latest round of prisoners, whose release was one of the conditions for the now evaporating peace talks.

Protesters attempting to pray when soldiers began to shoot tear gas at them and clashes erupted.  Mohammad was over 100 meters away from the demonstrators, preparing to leave, when he was shot twice from the right side.  One bullet sliced across his nose, the other hit him in the waist. He was holding his camera and was wearing a gas mask and bright yellow shirt with PRESS emblazoned on it.

Yasin displaying his wounds, the bandaged bullet wound on his ribs, the scar from surgery done to extract dum dum bullet fragments, and a deep gash on his nose from a .22 caliber sniper bullet.

Yasin displaying his wounds, the bandaged bullet wound on his ribs, the scar from surgery done to extract dum dum bullet fragments, and a deep gash on his nose from a .22 caliber sniper bullet. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

The bullet that grazed his face was a .22 caliber bullet.  It left a deep gash in his nose, and in an interview his father pointed out that the shooter was likely aiming at Mohammad’s head.  He noted that every time Mohammad looks in the mirror, he will have to see the scar across his nose, a reminder that “They were aiming for his head.  They were trying to kill him.”

.22 caliber bullets are technically banned by the Israeli military as a crowd dispersal method, and according Human Rights Organization B’tselem, should only be used in life threatening situations.  However, B’tselem has documented evidence that .22 bullets are still widely used during non-life threatening clashes.

According to the International Solidarity Movement, at the protest where Mohammad was shot, at least 13 others were seriously wounded.  Of the 13, six were wounded by .22 caliber bullets. (An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an News that the result of the clashes was Israeli forces “lightly injuring” five people.)

Yasin's clothes after he was shot, covered in blood from his wounds. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Yasin’s clothes after he was shot, covered in blood from his wounds. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

More troublesome is that the bullet that hit Mohammad hit him in the side.  This bullet was a “dum dum” or expanding bullet, which flattens upon impact to create a larger wound and inflict greater damage.  The bullet fragmented into his abdomen, breaking several ribs.  Doctors retrieved one piece of the bullet from his right kidney, but there are still fragments lodged throughout his abdomen.

The use of “dum dum” bullets is considered a war crime by the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Article 8(2)(b)(xix)).  Mohammad was the only one at the protest shot by a “dum dum” bullet.  “Why my son? Why is he the one they chose to shoot a dum dum at? Why do they want to kill him?” asks Mohammad’s father.

Fragment of the dum dum bullet removed from Yasin's kidney. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Fragment of the dum dum bullet removed from Yasin’s kidney. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Mohammad spent 9 days in the hospital as a result of his wounds, 6 of the days were spent in the ICU in critical condition.  In three months doctors will assess whether or not to attempt to retrieve more bullet fragments.  There is one fragment in his liver that doctors will not attempt to retrieve, due to medical risks.  His family stated that he will probably suffer from organ damage and lingering pain for the rest of his life.

His father is especially troubled by the fact that the shooting was unprovoked, “he wasn’t throwing stones or anything, but he was posing a danger with his photos by showing the world the truth.”  He is horrified, but not surprised, “There is no way to run from the occupation.  This is life under occupation.”

Mohammad is home now, in his village Bil’in, sitting in the front yard of his father’s house surrounded by family and friends. When asked about what he will do now, he smiles shyly, his face still handsome despite the gash across his nose.  He explains that he won’t let his injuries hold him back, “I will take this to court.  I will continue to fight, I will persist, I will not stop until the end.”

Claire Neble Matsunami
About Claire Neble Matsunami

Claire Neble Matsunami is a journalist from Seattle currently based in Ramallah.

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43 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    April 21, 2014, 12:30 pm

    This is life under the boot of the only Jewish state in the world.
    This is not the revelation of scripture. It’s far too inept and grubbily human for that.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    April 21, 2014, 12:33 pm

    What goes around will eventually come around, and it seems Israel is going to self destruct, and face the consequences of their brutal actions.

    • April 21, 2014, 11:38 pm

      people have been saying that for years but the jewish terror state israel just continues to go on and on and on seemingly getting stronger with every new act of inhuman savagery.
      how many more innocent truth seeking palestinians must die before this international cancer is removed.

    • amigo
      amigo
      April 22, 2014, 1:15 pm

      “What goes around will eventually come around, and it seems Israel is going to self destruct, and face the consequences of their brutal actions.” Kay.

      One can only live in hope that one day we may be able to raise a glass to mark the end on the Zionist entity and celebrate the nascent Bi national State and it,s Justice and equality for all it,s citizens.

      Only task left will be to find a name for it.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        April 22, 2014, 11:15 pm

        Amigo and thetruthhurts I agree. It seems there is a huge mountain to climb, especially in the US, where unwavering support for a disgusting rogue nation, seems to be the norm, so I have no hope any change will come from the US, but it will come from other parts of the world (thankfully the majority), and the EU has started calling for boycotts, which will hopefully start the avalanche.

  3. April 21, 2014, 12:40 pm

    This was sent today by JCALL the European equivalent to JSTREET.

    “Those who pretend to go forth from Egypt must leave the territories.
    While we are celebrating Pessah, Moshe Yaalon, Defense Minister, just allowed the creation of a new Jewish settlement in the heart of Hebron. It is hard to believe that such a decision has been taken without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahou’s support. It comes on top of previous announcements made during the last few months of new housing projects in East Jerusalem. Following the failure to release, two weeks ago, the fourth—and last— group of Palestinian prisoners that was supposed to take place within the framework of agreements concluded through the Americans, this new decision won’t favor the resumption of negotiations currently going through a crisis. At the same time, the attack perpetrated on Seder eve near Hebron which claimed the life of a father, injuring his wife and one of his children, will undoubtedly strengthen the position of all those opposed, in Israel, to the release of prisoners and to further negotiations.

    John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States, implied recently that the Israelis are more responsible for the current standoffs than the Palestinians. The Palestinian decision to ask for their accession to fifteen international agreements appears as a reaction to the Israelis’ non-compliance with their commitments. The nine months deadline set for the Israeli-Palestinian talks will be met in a few days. So far, in accordance with decisions taken at the start of this process, no official information on their content has filtered through. Therefore, we have no way of assessing their impact. If the first months have been devoted to the task of defining a frame of reference, it seems that since December, the negotiators have set to work on the main issues. The current crisis attests to the gap existing between the positions of both parties.

    In spite of the scepticism surrounding these negotiations from the start, we must once again state clearly that there is no alternative to the end of the occupation and to the creation of a Palestinian State if we wish to maintain Israel as a democratic State with a Jewish majority. It is the aim and the reason of existence of JCall. It will become harder and harder for Israelis and for diaspora Jews as well to evoke yearly Pessah as the celebration of freedom if Israel keeps the Palestinian people under its occupation. According to Pessah Haggaddah, each generation in turn must go forth from Egypt. Present generations won’t be able to claim they did before the very last day of this occupation.”

  4. Shuki
    Shuki
    April 21, 2014, 1:21 pm

    More Pallywood… with the typical Irony that it comes from a ‘photographer’ who was there to “show the world the truth with his photos”

    Check out this video posted from his fellow protesters:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGRJ_6Ch57o#t=343

    (Curious how they chopped it up and edited it and he’s covering the ‘wound’ to his torso, of course.)

    He’s neither trying to leave nor standing over ‘100 meters’ from the protesters nor is there more that one shot.

    What do you expect when the ISM is cited as a source for a story.

    If this isn’t BS, why not show the unredacted footage from when he was supposedly shot to when he was put in the ambulance by the other actors… I mean paramedics?

    • talknic
      talknic
      April 21, 2014, 3:49 pm

      @ Shuki ” why not show the unredacted footage “

      You have evidence of there being more footage? WOW!

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      April 21, 2014, 6:18 pm

      @ Shuki,

      Yes, you’re so right. I hate all that fake stuff they put out there on youtube.. Your soul must brim with pride…

      Slalom Salon Shalom…

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      April 21, 2014, 10:39 pm

      Here is some Izzywood for you. The production was cheap, devious, and produced by the official “defenders” of Israel, during the Turkish flotilla massacre:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woIuFRL1Q6g

      When it comes doctoring tapes and falsifying stories (and later apologizing for it), the Oscar should go to Israel.

    • April 22, 2014, 7:05 am

      How about we see that “unredacted” footage from Marvi Marmara?

      • amigo
        amigo
        April 22, 2014, 1:21 pm

        You beat to that one Giles.

        It certainly is the perfect example of Israeli lies and deceit.

  5. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    April 21, 2014, 2:27 pm

    Yes, but shouldn’t Palestinians be doing more for their own rights?

    http://youtu.be/73Pbs8hKCEc

  6. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    April 21, 2014, 3:02 pm

    “More Pallywood”

    I don’t expect anything from you but these vile slanders, casual racism and blood libels. Everthing in this story was confirmed by the video you show, from the barbaric brutality of the Israelis to the facts of this attempted murder. You are basically the same as those who say that Auschwitz and the other concentration camps were just a “Holohoax.” You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Shuki
      Shuki
      April 21, 2014, 5:40 pm

      vile slanders, casual racism and blood libels and holocaust denier…

      I suppose its easier to engage in name calling rather than addressing the specifics of the criticism when you’re wrong.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        April 22, 2014, 6:31 am

        vile slanders, casual racism and blood libels and holocaust denier…

        Vile slanders are what you post here.

        There is nothing casual about your racism, it’s a full time vocation for you.

        And attacking someone who mocks Holocaust denial makes you a Holocaust denier.

        I suppose its easier to engage in name calling rather than addressing the specifics of the criticism when you’re wrong.

        You offered no specifics, other than an unsupported conspiracy theory.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 22, 2014, 6:52 am

        “I suppose its easier to engage in name calling rather than addressing the specifics of the criticism when you’re wrong.”

        But i’m not wrong and I did address the specifics of your statement. The video confirmed the story and nothing more need be said.

        As for name calling, I did none of that. As an objective fact, your post consist of racism, a blood libel or three, a slander and the moral equivalent of Holocaust denial. That is what you bring into the world. At least have the decency to own up to it.

  7. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    April 21, 2014, 6:09 pm

    Note to editor:

    … and according Human Rights Organization B’tselem,

    … and according to Human Rights Organization B’tselem,

  8. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    April 21, 2014, 8:53 pm

    More news from the only democracy in the ME; Settlers torch mosque in northern Israel .

    Vandals?

    Yeah, right.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      April 22, 2014, 6:09 am

      Actually, the US State Department, refers to these crimes as “terroristic activities” by these out of control Israeli “front liners”.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      April 22, 2014, 6:32 am

      More news from the only democracy in the ME; Settlers torch mosque in northern Israel .

      Please stop with the blood libels Rich. Shuki is having a hard enough time coping with reality/

  9. eljay
    eljay
    April 22, 2014, 7:52 am

    >> Settlers torch mosque in northern Israel

    Price tag policy

    Price tag policy … is the name originally given to “acts of random violence aimed at the Palestinian population, and Israeli security forces” by fundamentalist Israeli settler youths who, according to the New York Times, “exact a price from local Palestinians or from the Israeli security forces for any action taken against their settlement enterprise”.

    Zio-supremacists, in general, are hateful and immoral enough, but these Zio-supremacist colonists – who resort to violence and/or vandalism to defend their unjust, illegal and/or immoral activities – are in a different class of ugliness altogether.

  10. j
    j
    April 22, 2014, 8:09 am

    On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the famous resolution calling for the division of Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and an international zone of Jerusalem. The United Nations passed this resolution without making any provision for its enforcement. Just over two weeks later, at a public meeting on December 17, the Arab League adopted a resolution totally rejecting this UN resolution, declaring that they would use all means at their disposal, including armed intervention, to nullify it, an open challenge to the United Nations that was and remains unanswered. No attempt was made to respond, no attempt to prevent the armed intervention that the Arab League promptly launched.

    • James North
      James North
      April 22, 2014, 9:00 am

      New recruit from Hasbara Central.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        April 22, 2014, 9:05 am

        New recruit from Hasbara Central.

        Yes, another undercooked one at that.

      • Walid
        Walid
        April 22, 2014, 9:25 am

        but full of piss and vinegar; in time and with some training at Mondo, he could become good.

    • amigo
      amigo
      April 22, 2014, 1:33 pm

      “Just over two weeks later, at a public meeting on December 17, the Arab League adopted a resolution totally rejecting this UN resolution, ” Says j

      Mean while back in the real world!!!.

      “One day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun gang and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25) *”

      We got a right one here—fresh in from Hasbara central.

  11. j
    j
    April 22, 2014, 8:17 am

    Comparison is sometimes made between the world reaction to the massacre of Palestinians by Lebanese Christian militiamen at Sabra and Shatila in September 1982, where some 800 people were killed, and the massacre earlier in the same year in Hama in Syria, where tens of thousands were killed. On the latter, not a dog barked. The difference, of course, was in the circumstances. In both cases the perpetrators were Arab, but in the case of Sabra and Shatila, because of the dominant Israeli military presence in the region, there was a possibility of blaming the Jews. In Hama, this possibility did not exist; therefore the mass slaughter of Arabs by Arabs went unremarked, unnoticed, and unprotested. This contrast is clearly anti-Jewish. In a different way, it is also anti-Arab.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      April 22, 2014, 9:01 am

      In both cases the perpetrators were Arab

      Wrong. There would not have been a Sabra and Shatila massacre without Sharon’s efforts to lock the gates and bring in flood lights to assist the Phalangists. This was even denounced as a war crime in Israel at the time.

    • Walid
      Walid
      April 22, 2014, 9:14 am

      j, at Sabra-Shatila, the actual killing was done by the Lebanese but this was made possible with the help of the Israelis that provided the logistics and ensured that no one entered or exited the camps while the massacre was in progress over a few days. In short, Israelis held down the Palestinians while the Lebanese Christian militia did its vile work. This made Israelis into full partners in the massacre. As to the Hama where a number had been done on the Brothers, these guys got their revenge in the last 3 years with the quasi-total destruction of Syria.

  12. j
    j
    April 22, 2014, 8:59 am

    The United Nations handling of the 1948 war and the resulting problems shows some curious disparities for example, on the question of refugees. At the end of the initial struggle in Palestine, part of the country was under the rule of the newly created Jewish state, part under the rule of neighboring Arab governments. A significant number of Arabs remained in the territories under Jewish rule. It was taken then as axiomatic, and has never been challenged since, that no Jews could remain in the areas of Palestine under Arab rule, so that as well as Arab refugees from the Jewish-controlled areas, there were Jewish refugees from the Arab-controlled areas of mandatory Palestine, not just settlers, but old, established groups, notably the ancient Jewish community in East Jerusalem, which was totally evicted and its monuments desecrated or destroyed. The United Nations seemed to have no problem with this; nor did international public opinion. When Jews were driven out, no provision was made for them, no help offered, no protest made. This surely sent a very clear message to the Arab world, a less clear message to the Jews.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      April 22, 2014, 9:03 am

      The United Nations seemed to have no problem with this; nor did international public opinion.

      That might have something to so with the fact the Jews were the aggressors and that the numbers of Palestinians refugees was of the order of 100 times greater.

      Internal US State Department and CIA memos said that the Jews were the actual aggressors against the Arabs, and predicted that they would come running to the Security Council complaining that they were the victims.
      See Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa , Volume V, Part 2, page 848 (also cited in “The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951″, William Roger Louis, Oxford University Press, 1984, ISBN: 0198229607, page 545; Zionism and the Palestinians, Simha Flapan, Croom Helm, 1979, ISBN: 0856644994, Page 336; and Fallen pillars: U.S. policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945, Donald Neff, 2nd Edition, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995, ISBN: 0887282598, page 65.)

    • Walid
      Walid
      April 22, 2014, 9:21 am

      “When Jews were driven out, no provision was made for them, no help offered, no protest made. ”

      Driven out of where and no help offered to them? The only place they were actually driven out was in Egypt and this happened only after the creation of the Zionist state after some Zionist misdeeds that the Egyptians used as a pretext to expel the Jews in 3 different waves after Lavon, after Suez and after 67. In a couple of other places like Iraq and Iran, Jews were yanked out by the Zionists through trickery.

    • talknic
      talknic
      April 22, 2014, 10:01 am

      @ j ” When Jews were driven out, no provision was made for them, no help offered, no protest made. “

      A cute theory. But like all Hasbara it’s bullsh*t. UNRWA cared for Jewish refugees in Israel until the Israeli Government took over 1952. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=%22UNRWA%22%20%22Jewish%20refugees%22%201952

  13. Sammar
    Sammar
    April 22, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Interesting comment today by Joe Biden on the Ukraine crisis:

    “”No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation,” Biden said. “We will never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.”

    Does he even notice the irony? That’s all Israel has been doing, grabbing land and illegally occupying Palestine. With the US supporting and actively financing the land grab and occupation. Why aren’t there any journalists pointing this out when he makes ridiculous statements like that? Have they all lost their integrity and sense of fairness?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      April 22, 2014, 12:43 pm

      “Does he even notice the irony?”

      Of course not. Biden, like all politicians, practices Crimestop when it comes to Israel. As Orwell wrote: “Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”

    • amigo
      amigo
      April 22, 2014, 1:39 pm

      “Does he even notice the irony? That’s all Israel has been doing, grabbing land and illegally occupying Palestine.” Sammar

      Sammar, I watched that clip and was amazed how he got through that BS without even so much as blink of an eye.

      Beggars belief.

    • j
      j
      April 22, 2014, 5:47 pm

      It is ironic. It’s like we care if the world recognize our annexation of half of Mexico

      • talknic
        talknic
        April 23, 2014, 9:56 am

        @ j “It is ironic. It’s like we care if the world recognize our annexation of half of Mexico”

        What is ironic is that a US citizen can be so ignorant of US history.
        A) Texas for example, wasn’t a part of Mexico when it was;
        B) legally annexed to the USA via an AGREEMENT!

        The US, by adopting the legal custom of having an agreement with the legitimate citizens of territories to be annexed, Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, was instrumental in that legal custom passing into Customary International Law.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        April 23, 2014, 10:18 am

        Talk about ignorant of US history!! In the cases of Texas (and the entire Northwest of Mexico/Southwest of the US) and Hawaii, you had an influx of white Americans entering the land to stir up trouble and eventually wrestle the land from its rightful owners. They were naked and oppressive seizures — theft — no different than what is going on in Crimea. (Alaska was old fashioned settler colonialism and a transfer between powers regardless of the feelings of the Native people whose land it rightfully is.)

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      April 22, 2014, 11:19 pm

      It was unbelievable that our dear VP, stood there with a straight face, and said those words.
      I am sure many around the world saw the irony of that, too.
      Funny, how they have selective memory, and cannot connect the dots, when it comes to Israel.

  14. eljay
    eljay
    April 22, 2014, 12:31 pm

    >> Sammar @ April 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm:

    Interesting comment today by Joe Biden on the Ukraine crisis:

    “”No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation,” Biden said. “We will never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.”

    Stephen “Donkey-fellater” Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, recently – and quite hypocritically – made similarly nauseating comments.

  15. Sammar
    Sammar
    April 22, 2014, 12:33 pm

    @ j ” When Jews were driven out, no provision was made for them, no help offered, no protest made. “

    The provision made for them was the Jewish State where they were given the “birthright” to go and live there. Most of them left because of the establishment of a Jewish State and because they wanted to “return” there. So don’t make this into an equal situation with the Palestinians who had more than half their country taken by the UN and then more by Plan Dalet and other pre-planned actions to expand what they UN gave to the Zionists and take more land from the original inhabitants.

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