Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian village in the West Bank north of Ramallah. is tiny with only 500 or so residents. It is surrounded by an illegal Israeli settlement. The Friday protests in Nabi Saleh against land confiscation and brutality by the occupation forces have been marked by extreme violence by the Israeli army and repression against the villagers, many of them children, who maintain the protests.
Here is a video of Israeli army attacks on homes in Nabi Saleh from July:
Today, we await the fate of one of these protesters, Mustafa Tamimi, who was shot in the face from a distance of just a few meters by an Israeli solider with a teargas canister. He is on respirators now and too unstable to withstand surgery. He may lose his life. (Two members of Anarchists Against the Wall have reportedly been arrested for trying to be with Mustafa in the Israeli hospital. What amazing activists they are.)
Update: Here is a photo of Mustafa just moments before the shooting. Circled in red are the barrel of the gun and the projectile that hit him.
Update: Here is an ActiveStills archive photo of Mustafa (on the left) posing with his brothers. Mustafa is 28 years old.
Here is an account by Linah Alssafin who was at the demonstration:
Ma'an is reporting:
A tear-gas canister fired by Israeli forces struck and seriously injured a Palestinian demonstrator in the occupied West Bank, protesters said Friday.Those with blinders on will question why Mustafa was throwing rocks at the jeep, but I ask what you would do if an occupying army confiscated your land, arrested your children and fired live rounds and tear gas at your home? Palestinian nonviolence depends on you not being silent:
Onlookers said Mustafa Tamimi, 28, suffered a critical head wound after being struck in the face by the canister in Nabi Saleh.
The village hosts weekly protests against land confiscation for an illegal settlement, and Israel has cracked down on its residents, carrying out night raids and arresting accused stone-throwers.
"Tamimi is in very critical condition. Half his face is gone," said Linah Alsaafin, a Ramallah-based blogger. She was reporting from the scene in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.
He "was throwing rocks at the (Israeli army) jeep, the door opened and the canister was fired with precision and intent straight in his face," Alsaafin recounted on Twitter.
"To use their term, 'surgical precision'," she added.
Activists distributed photographs purporting to show Tamimi, his face covered in blood, being lifted off the ground after his injury. He was later taken to hospital.
Mustafa Tamimi, 28, is lifted up shortly after the injury in Nabi Saleh.
The activists said the Israeli army had initially prevented an ambulance from arriving at the village. A military spokeswoman said the man was evacuated to an Israeli hospital.
The official told Ma'an said the injury occurred during "a violent and illegal riot" in which protesters threw stones. Forces responded with "riot-dispersal means," she said.
"The incident is currently being investigated," she added.
A teenage boy suffered a leg fracture after being struck by a rubber-coated bullet, onlookers added. A young woman's arm was also broken during the demonstration, they said.
The international community has an obligation to Palestinian nonviolent activists. Leaders cannot simply call on Palestinians to abandon violence in the face of Israeli occupation and remain silent when the nonviolent activists are politically repressed. This only reinforces the idea that the use of force reigns supreme and that Palestinians have no choice but to accept hardships at the hands of their Israeli lords.Palestinians are asking folks to use the hashtag #Pray4Mustafa to spread awareness about Mustafa Tamimi.
Sadly, the same leaders who call on Palestinians to abandon violence have been silent in the face of Israeli repression. By condemning violent Palestinian resistance while remaining silent in the face of Israeli crackdowns and political arrests, they are simply endorsing violence against civilians by one side instead of the other.
8:42 AM PT: Mustafa going into surgery now. Hoping...
Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 4:49 AM PT: He's dead. Comfort to his family.