Nabi Saleh, occupied West Bank — Janna Jihad woke up to gunshots and commotion outside her window around 10 a.m Wednesday morning, a familiar sound in the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, home of imprisoned teenage activist Ahed Tamimi.
Israeli forces had just shot her distant cousin, 21-year-old Izz al-Din Tamimi, at least two times with live ammunition during confrontations that erupted following an Israeli military raid on the village.
“They were just 10 meters from my bedroom window, in our garden. I saw someone who was injured and there was a lot of blood,” Janna, a local teenage journalist, told Mondoweiss, added that she saw Tamimi with a bullet wound to the neck and chest.
“We tried to take him to the hospital but they [soldiers] were beating and kicking him, and wouldn’t let us. They arrested him and took him into their military jeep, and then into the military tower in the village for more than half an hour.”
According to Janna and her mother, Nawal, Izz Tamimi was left bleeding for over thirty minutes before an ambulance arrived and Israeli forces handed his body over to be evacuated to a hospital in Ramallah.
But by the time the ambulance arrived, he was dead.
Video of the events on Wednesday corroborate Janna and Nawal’s testimony. Filmed by Nabi Saleh resident Mohammad Atallah Tamimi, the video seems to being just moments after the shooting took place.
The video, which was live streamed, showed nearly a dozen Israeli soldiers crowding around a bloody and unresponsive Tamimi, seemingly trying to place him on a stretcher.
Mohammad and other residents can be heard imploring soldiers to take Izz to the hospital for treatment. In the video, Mohammad can also be heard saying that Israeli forces targeted Izz from a point blank range.
Footage showed Israeli forces firing sound bombs in the direction of the crowd as they followed soldiers to the jeep.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss that Tamimi was participating in stone throwing against the armed soldiers when he was shot.
According to the spokesperson, during the confrontation with soldiers, Tamimi allegedly “flanked the troops and hurled the rock, striking a soldier’s head.”
“In response, the soldier who was hit by the rock fired towards the Palestinian, who was injured and medically treated by IDF troops at the scene. Despite this, the Palestinian died,” the spokesperson said.
Despite Tamimi allegedly striking a soldier in the head, the Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss that no Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident, adding that the situation was being “examined.”
The testimony of the Israeli army and the suggestion that Tamimi was killed in self defense is highly disputed by Palestinians in Nabi Saleh, who claimed that two days prior to his killing, Tamimi was threatened by Israeli soldiers.
“After Izz al-Din was killed, I went to his mother’s house to pay my respects, and she told me that two days ago soldiers came to her house and told her ‘we will kill your son and leave you crying’,” Nawal Tamimi told Mondoweiss.
Izz al-Din Tamimi was reportedly wanted for stone-throwing by soldiers, and according to locals, prior to the alleged threats made against him to his mother, Israeli soldiers had tried and failed on five separate occasions to arrest the young man.
“I think that they killed him on purpose. I think that they came to kill him,” Jihad told Mondoweiss, noting that several other young men were throwing stones at soldiers, but “they didn’t shoot at anyone else, just at him.”
Jihad, who began her career as the “youngest journalist in Palestine” after two members of her family were killed when she was just seven years old, implored the international community to “stand with us and support all the children and young men and women in Palestine who are targeted by the Israeli occupation.”
The case of Izz al-Din Tamimi’s death has been likened to the January killing of 16-year-old Musaab Tamimi, in Nabi Saleh’s sister village of Deir Nitham.
Musaab Tamimi was also shot in the neck during confrontations with Israeli soldiers, jut days after allegedly receiving death threats from Israeli soldiers.
The Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is well known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, which maintains a heavy, near-constant presence in their village.
The village has been in the spotlight since 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier in attempts to prevent him from encroaching on her family’s property.
Since then, dozens of Ahed’s close and distant family members have been arrested and imprisoned by Israeli forces, in what locals have called a campaign of collective punishment against the village.
According to locals, there are currently 18 members of the Tamimi family in Israeli prison, including six minors.