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Israel detains Palestinian teen with severe head injury, again

Israel/Palestine
on 24 Comments

As Mohammad Tamimi, 15, walked to the market near his home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh Sunday morning, he passed by a new white Hyundai.

Two men he assumed to be Palestinians were standing outside the parked car, speaking fluent Arabic on their phones. Two more were sitting inside the car, which had a green license plate (vehicles belonging to Israeli citizens have yellow plates).

Mohammad did not think much about this scene.

When he got close the men jumped Mohammed. One bent the youth’s right arm behind his back and covered his mouth. Then two men threw Mohammad into the car and drove out of the village.

Fadel Tamimi, Mohammad’s father, only learned of this when Mohammad was released later that night at around 11 p.m.

When Mohammad missed Iftar – the evening meal when Muslim’s break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan — Fadel felt something was wrong.

“It’s not like Mohammad to just go missing like this,” he told Mondoweiss. “We got scared about what happened to him.”

There was no one on the streets at the time who witnessed the incident. The family was left in the dark regarding Mohammad’s whereabouts.

The family contacted the Israeli police and army, but they denied having detained the minor. The village then initiated a search campaign to find Mohammad.

Mohammad has been slowly recovering from a life-threatening injury he sustained five months ago, when Israeli forces shot him in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet at close range during a protest of Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

He was put under a 72-hour medically-induced coma at that time, before doctors were forced to remove a portion of his skull owing to severe inflammation in his brain.

Mohammad underwent another critical surgery less than a month ago, and doctors have since reinserted the pieces of skull.

“Everyone was so worried because Mohammad needs to take his medicine. He had missed one of his scheduled doses,” Manal Tamimi, Mohammad’s aunt and a prominent activist in the village, told Mondoweiss. “We thought maybe he had fallen and hurt himself.”

Israeli authorities finally contacted Mohammad’s family to inform them that the minor was being held for interrogations at Shaar Binyamin detention center in the occupied West Bank. He was released soon after.

Ahed Tamimi in Ofer military court, December 28, 2017. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti)

‘Israel is waiting for him to get better’

After Mohammad was shot on December 15, 2017, his cousin Ahed Tamimi, then 16, confronted two armed Israeli soldiers, and proceeded to slap and kick them. After a video of the incident went viral, the teen was arrested and has since been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Ahed Tamimi, now 17, has risen to international prominence as a symbol of Palestinian resistance. While Nabi Saleh has often been targeted by Israeli forces owing to their near decade-long nonviolent protests, in recent months residents have reported a sharp rise in Israeli arrests and raids in the village.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss that Mohammad was detained after he “threw rocks at a road and endangered passing vehicles near Nabi Saleh.” The village is located directly adjacent to Israel’s illegal Halamish settlement, with a road dividing the two areas.

“They always say it’s about stones when they arrest us,” Fadel said, as he released a sigh connoting the repetitiveness of such allegations. Stone-throwing is the most common charged levied against Palestinian children, and holds a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

In February, when Mohammad’s skull was still exposed from the initial operations, Israeli forces raided his home in the pre-dawn hours and detained the injured minor.

At the time, Mohammad told Mondoweiss that Israeli forces had “beaten” him into confessing that his injury was sustained from a bicycle accident, rather than from a rubber bullet shot by Israeli forces.

Manal says that she believes Israeli authorities are waiting until Mohammad is recovered so that they can imprison the teen.

“I think they were afraid to keep him in prison because of his condition,” Manal explained. “They want him in prison, but they are waiting for him to get better,” she continued. “They will try in the next two or three months to arrest him again.”

Mohammad’s father Fadel agreed, telling Mondoweiss that Israeli intelligence had even called one of the doctors who performed the initial surgeries on Mohammad and told him they would come to arrest Mohammad after he recovered.

Dawoud Yusef, advocacy coordinator for Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, told Mondoweiss that Israel’s tactic of forcing Palestinians into a constant rotation in and out of Israeli prisons is meant to “make the individual feel that they are never safe from the forces of the occupation.”

This reality in the occupied West Bank commonly results in Palestinian children developing anxiety disorders, night insomnia, depression, and an inability to concentrate in school, Yusef said.

He noted that Israel’s use of Mistaarvim–Israeli agents disguised as Palestinians–to detain the injured teen represents an “intensification of the psychological warfare being executed against the [Tamimi] family,” adding that the use of undercover agents is a “psychological tool more than anything else.”

However, Yusef commented that Israeli forces typically arrest Palestinians when they are injured, and rarely wait for them to recover before imprisoning them. He suggested that in the case of Mohammad, the Israeli authorities could be attempting to “avoid too much undue international attention” or continuing its suppression of political activities in the village.

‘We are scared to allow our children on the street’

At least 20 residents in Nabi Saleh have continued to be imprisoned by Israel since Ahed’s slap — which prompted a wave of arrests in the village. At least seven of the detained residents are minors. According to Addameer, 6,036 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons as of April.

Manal told Mondoweiss that Israel’s crackdown on the village was being taken to a “dangerous level.”

“We feel like anyone in the village can get kidnapped by the Israelis at any time,” she said. “We are scared to allow our children on the street.”

Israeli forces have employed inflatable surveillance balloons in Nabi Saleh that float above the village 24-hours a day, collecting intelligence on the Palestinians below, according to Manal.

Israeli surveillance balloon (deployed over US embassy on May 14, 2018)

“The Israelis know exactly where each village resident is at all times,” she said. “They know when we leave our houses. They know when we come back home. They are keeping tabs on every single thing that’s happening in the village.”

Yusef told Mondoweiss that because the Tamimi family and the village of Nabi Saleh have become a “symbol for peaceful organizing and resistance,” the continued arrest of Mohammad, and other residents in the village, are “messages” intended to intimidate the family.

“They represent explicit instructions to them that they should desist from their activity, and stop their activism,” he said. “The targeting of Mohammad in particular is an attempt at striking at the most vulnerable members.”

Jaclynn Ashly
About Jaclynn Ashly

Jaclynn Ashly is a journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine. You can find her on Twitter @jaclynnashly

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24 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 21, 2018, 4:29 pm

    The zionists are one of the most vicious, and evil people, that operates from that so called democracy. They have got away with murder, the occupation, the land theft, and all the crimes against helpless civilians, and going by how history has shown us, there always is a day of reckoning. I would say for all of the massacres, and brutal treatment of people suffering under their cruel occupation, they will have to answer for their endless crimes. Look what happened to the nazis. What goes around comes around, and the sooner it comes the better for the Palestinians.

  2. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    May 21, 2018, 4:31 pm

    Israel is barbaric becuse it does not see Palestinians as fully human

    https://www.haaretz.com/1.5187472

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

    I still, still, still know what you did last summer.

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 21, 2018, 4:57 pm

    I’m afraid he’s going to “fall off his bike” again.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      May 21, 2018, 8:36 pm

      Considering the large number of injured Palestinian children, I think it would be wise to ban them from owning bikes. That Israeli soldier who took a bike from a little girl was doing her a favour.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      May 21, 2018, 10:46 pm

      Yes, the poor guy is such a major klutz! He can’t even manage to ride a bicycle without constantly falling off.
      SO SAD!
      SO BIGLY SAD!
      A REAL LOSER!
      LOSER! LOSER! LOSER!
      UNLIKE THE ALL-TIME WINNER DONALD TRUMP!

  5. May 21, 2018, 8:12 pm

    Disgusting racist pigs – all Zionist Jews- the lot of them – participating in or allowing for the torture of Palestinians children.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    May 21, 2018, 10:31 pm

    RE: Dawoud Yusef, advocacy coordinator for Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, told Mondoweiss that Israel’s tactic of forcing Palestinians into a constant rotation in and out of Israeli prisons is meant to “make the individual feel that they are never safe from the forces of the occupation.”

    PUT ANOTHER WAY: Israel’s “tactic of forcing Palestinians into a constant rotation in and out of Israeli prisons” is in keeping with their philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’, which is meant to to induce in Palestinians a sense of “permanent temporariness”.

    FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    (EXCERPT) . . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. Maintaining control of the Occupied Territories keeps open to Israel the option of displacing Palestinian citizens of Israel into the Territories by means of limited land swaps. It also ensures that Israel retains the ability to force future returning refugees to settle in their ‘homeland’, whereas a sovereign Palestinian state might decline to accept the refugees. It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness

  7. Marnie
    Marnie
    May 22, 2018, 12:10 am

    It’s really hard to look at Mohammad’s picture and it should be everywhere. Like Citizen, I’m worried about what will happen to him as it is apparent the most moral army in the world isn’t finished torturing him.

  8. chocopie
    chocopie
    May 22, 2018, 12:30 am

    Jon66 needs to come to this thread to raise the question of why Palestinian kids are being allowed/encouraged to walk to the market in the midst of a violent occupation.

  9. shaun patrick
    shaun patrick
    May 22, 2018, 8:38 am

    Calling Palestinians terrorists enables Israelis too trample on their conscience and so justify the most discusting and aborhant behaviour. When human beings loose their conscience and their moral compass behaviour that would sicken most people becomes completely accepted as normal behaviour. The constant message inferred by Israel’s government is that Palestinians are subhuman and less than animals so the army and government are free to do whatever they want to any Palestinian at any time. If Israel’s behaviour is particularly disgusting then they label the victim as a member of Hamas as the ultimate justification.

    • chocopie
      chocopie
      May 22, 2018, 4:23 pm

      Calling Palestinians terrorists is the new blood libel.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 22, 2018, 11:39 pm

        The thing about the original blood libel was that the blood was fake . Israel loves killing Palestinians for sport. It’s on a different scale to back in the shtetl.

  10. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    May 22, 2018, 9:24 am

    Wow, Israel has the best and most moral healthcare system in the world.
    They send undercover soldiers to take you to the doctor.

    • Cazador
      Cazador
      May 22, 2018, 3:24 pm

      They, the most moral, broken-bone policy Israeli Constant Attack Force, know that young Palestinian children are always in situations of risk while riding their bicycles. So, as a humanitarian precaution, they prefer taking them to the doctors, the prison doctors, for a special scare treatment.

      Israel will regret seeing that photo of 15-year old Mohammad Tamimi some day…

      Forget about that! There are no regrets in Zionist constant attack/murdering/land stealing/Samson Option threatening business… Not at least until the whole world decides to blame and take Zionist torturers/executioners to the International Court of Justice and requires death penalties for a worldwide example of another totally wrong inhuman project that should not/can not be repeated.

      No wonder Einstein was comparing the Israeli zionist project to fascism, to say the least, in his co-signed letter to the New York Times back on December 4, 1948:

      https://archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        May 22, 2018, 8:04 pm

        Stalin may have thought:
        I don’t mind what people think, I just want to control their ability to say it.

        So, make sure you control all the megaphones.
        They all seem to be controled.

      • jon s
        jon s
        May 23, 2018, 6:19 am

        Einstein and the other signatories were protesting a planned visit of Menachem Begin and his brand of ultra nationalism.
        Einstein was still a Zionist.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 23, 2018, 9:01 am

        || jon s: … Einstein was still a Zionist. ||

        Genius does not preclude supremacism.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 23, 2018, 12:11 pm

        “Einstein was still a Zionist.”

        Thus giving Israel an intrinsic right to illegal nuclear weapons.

  11. Cazador
    Cazador
    May 24, 2018, 1:43 pm

    jon s

    «Einstein was still a Zionist.»

    I don’t think he ever was a ZIONIST!

    His co-signed letter disproves your hasbara type statement.

    Just read its beginning again, below, as he associates Nazi and Fascist parties of newly created Isreal to conservative Zionist elements in the United States.

    If Einstein has reasons to disagree with Zionist elements in the United States it is because of the Zionist fascist, Nazi like parties, terrorist, and right-wing, chauvinist organization in Israel.

    EXCERPTS FOR YOU TO READ AND UNDERSTAND, AGAIN. Unless your Hasbara little Red Book tells you to BLINDLY/PURPOSEDLY associate Einstein to Zionism…

    ADDRESS AND EXCERPTS OF THE SAID LETTER BELOW:

    https://archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948

    Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

    New Palestine Party. Visit of Menachen Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed. A letter to The New York Times. Saturday December 4, 1948 by Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook, et.al.

    New Palestine Party. Visit of Menachen Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed. A letter to The New York Times, published in the “Books” section (Page 12) of Saturday December 4, 1948

    by Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook, et.al.

    Source: Text from original microfilm

    TO THE EDITORS OF NEW YORK TIMES:

    Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

    The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

    Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

    The public avowals of Begin’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 24, 2018, 4:07 pm

      I think we have to set his letter to Nehru in 47, where he gives a very strong impression of being a Zionist – though there are clauses which almost give him a get out, because he asserts that Arab interests could be protected – against his reported statement to A. Lilienthal in 52 that he had never been a Zionist. There was a strong element of ambivalence which reflected a desire to do good to all but which in the end isn’t that wonderful. The pattern of giving much public encouragement to the Z cause whilst expressing much reservation about Begin then, Netanyahu now, is a rather regrettable one in the intellectual class, Jewish and other.

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