Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Remembrance of Mustafa Tamimi

Every Friday, Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh protest against the expansion of Halamish, the nearby Zionist settlement taken in a land grab of Palestinian lands in 1977. In 2009, the settlers fenced off a vital spring on land privately owned by Bashir Tamimi, a life-long resident of Nabi Saleh. Other residents of Nabi Saleh then began regular, weekly protests against the annexation of their farmland. From the beginning, they were committed to holding peaceful protests but were always met by Israeli soldiers using tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, & skunk bombs. Skunk bombs are a chemical weapon made of synthetic skunk liquid which smells like raw sewage. Like skunk spray, the odor is impossible to wash off. The Israeli military considers them non-lethal but their use can only be seen as racist & contemptuous of Palestinian dignity. The use of lethal weapons against unarmed Palestinians, however, is not a problem for Israeli soldiers.

Last December 11th, 28-year-old Mustafa Tamimi (nephew of Bashir), a resident of Nabi Saleh protesting the land grab, died after an Israeli soldier shot him directly in the face with a tear gas canister. The canister blew off half his face & when other protestors reacted with horror, the Israeli soldiers laughed & taunted. To this day, the guilty soldier has not been charged with the murder of Mustafa. Meanwhile, Bassem Tamimi, a leader of the protests, has been arrested 12 times by Israeli soldiers & was once confined to administrative detention without trial. In March 2011, he was found guilty in an Israeli court of inciting youth to throw stones & holding a march without a permit.

Mustafa’s father, who passed away in October without seeing justice for his son, said: “Sometimes my wife & I can’t go to sleep & we stay awake the whole night crying & comforting one another. It’s not good to keep crying & mourning our son the martyr. I keep telling my wife we must be strong, this is a blessing, an honor to have a martyred son, but sometimes I feel like I don’t believe what I’m saying & my heart feels so heavy with grief.”

This post is to honor Mustafa Tamimi & all those who have given their lives in the fight for Palestinian justice. Regrettably, their names are legion. May they RIP. And may we honor them by vigilantly boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) & demanding no US aid to Israel. (Photo credit to ActiveStills)

{It should be said that the photo of Mustafa’s face after the attack is too gruesome to post; it is best to honor him as he would prefer to be remembered.}

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