The Israeli soldier who killed Izz Al-Din Tamimi during a raid on Nabi Saleh village in the occupied West Bank on 6 June, shot the unarmed youth in the back as he fled, a B’Tselem investigation found.
On the morning in question, two Israeli military troop transport vehicles and a jeep drove into Nabi Saleh, with one vehicle stopping near a gas station and some ten soldiers disembarking to conduct an arrest raid – a frequent occurrence in Palestinian communities.
Shortly after, two village residents – including Izz Al-Din Tamimi – approached the area to throw stones at the occupation forces, hiding behind stores some 15-20 metres from the army vehicle.
After throwing stones at the soldiers, the two youths fled. B’Tselem’s investigation found that Israeli soldiers then opened fire from a distance of around 45 metres, shooting Tamimi in the back.
The human rights NGO further noted that the soldiers delayed evacuating Tamimi for some ten minutes, during which time he was not given medical treatment.
Later that day, Tamimi’s funeral procession left the hospital in Ramallah, where his body had been taken, and headed toward Nabi Saleh. On the way, B’Tselem described, Israeli occupation forces held up the procession for about half an hour and attacked participants.
Despite the fact that the shooting was contrary even to the military’s open-fire regulations, B’Tselem said it does not expect any accountability for the killing.
“The day after the incident,” B’Tselem noted, “it was reported in the media that the Military Police Investigations Unit had opened an investigation into the killing of Tamimi.”
“However, experience has shown that the purpose of such investigations and announcements is to silence any criticism against the military,” the NGO added.
“It is the systemic policy of whitewashing the killing of Palestinians by soldiers that allows soldiers to act in gross violation of the open-fire regulations without having to pay any price for their actions,” B’Tselem continued. “The policy thereby enables the continuing use of lethal force, a critical component in Israel’s ability to continue to maintain its violent control over millions of Palestinians.”