Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Critically injured Mohammed Tamimi among 10 Nabi Saleh youths arrested in overnight raids

By Ruth Regan - February 27, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Nabi Saleh] [arrests] [Collective Punishment] [Israeli border police]

“I’m good as a bonbon [sweet],” said Mohammed Tamimi, in translation, when asked how he was doing. Ten minutes earlier however, and he had been too overcome with emotion to articulate himself and had to temporarily step away from the press circus taking place in his living room.
10 hours earlier, at 3am, Mohammed had woken up to loud knocks and shouts at his door from Israeli forces.
Mohammed is the cousin of Ahed Tamimi, the now 17 year old currently awaiting trial for slapping a soldier. A shot to Mohammed’s face at close range is the incident she was emotionally reacting to in the viral footage shared the world over.
The rubber bullet has left him missing part of his skull, which he is awaiting surgery to replace. “Mohammed is lucky to be alive,” a family member commented.
Mohammed was arrested on 26 February along with 9 other residents of Nabi Saleh, a small village located opposite the Israeli settlement Halamish known for its weekly protests against settlements and occupation. All but one of those arrested on Monday were young boys between 14 and 19.
When the soldiers came to arrest Mohammed, they did not heed his mother’s pleas to take care of his head.
Amtethal Tamimi, Mohammed’s mother, told us how the soldiers came in and first separated the men and the women. She said she told the soldiers Mohammed needs to take medicine twice a day and has an upcoming operation on Saturday, in order to examine whether bones need repositioning before his bigger surgery. They argued back and forth.
“You shouldn’t take him, he’s injured. There’s no reason to take him,” Amtethal explained to Palestine Monitor what she expressed to the soldiers.
Eventually, they agreed to at least let him put clothes on, so long as everyone stayed in the house. Amtethal followed anyway. She begged for handcuffs to be placed in front of him rather than behind due to ongoing pain in his shoulder. They cuffed him from behind regardless.
Mohammed was afraid for his head and tried to protect it himself. He said they did not pay any attention to it and he received rough treatment, including slapping and kicking.
In a rare occurrence, Mohammed was released and returned to Nabi Saleh later the same day. But all the others arrested are still detained. The five minors arrested are due in Ofer court on Tuesday 27 February.
For 17 year old Wi’am Tamimi, it was his first arrest. At the time of talking, his mother, Nida, did not know where he had been taken by the soldiers nor when she might find out. With her eldest son Wisam Tamimi, who has been arrested 3 times, it took up to a week to find out.
“I feel scared because it’s the first time they’ve arrested him,” Nida told Palestine Monitor. She said she expected his arrest though, as she had heard his name coming up in town talk.
Nida doesn’t believe others confessed his name. She said Israeli interrogators use manipulating tactics to get kids to sign admissions in Hebrew. It “happens under pressure and torture,” she said.
Her other son Ahmed, who has Down’s syndrome, was also threatened and asked for ID when the soldiers raided their house in the early hours of Monday.
Nabi Saleh can be described as being under collective punishment for its continued resistance. This is “not justice,” Nida asserted.
Mohammed told Palestine Monitor the Israelis threatened the entire town of Nabi Saleh via him during his stint in custody.
“Every night we’re going to arrest six or seven [people] until we’ve arrested 40,” Mohammad explained what they told him.
But the town are not deterred by such threats. They have generated a culture of resistance.
Asked if Nabi Saleh will halt protests if too many people are taken away, Nida refuses adamantly, saying if anything, they will increase their frequency and become daily.
“It won’t stop, it is continuing resistance. As long as there’s occupation there is resistance.”
Meanwhile Mohammed is looking forward to his surgery.
“Then [I can protest again] once I have my skull back, let them arrest me.”
Lead photo: Amtethal Tamimi embraced her son, Mohammed Tamimi, when he returned home to Nabi Saleh after being arrested by Israeli forces on Monday 26 February. Source: Ruth Regan.


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