The Military Advocate-General’s Corps (MAG) closed on Thursday the case against
a soldier who killed Palestinian Mustafa Tamimi, 28, by firing a tear-gas
canister at him from a moving jeep during a demonstration in the Palestinian
village of Nabi Saleh in December 2011.
A photograph that was widely
publicized at the time showed the close proximity of Tamimi to the jeep and made
it seem as though the soldier was deliberately targeting Tamimi. The IDF forbids
shooting tear-gas canisters directly at people.
But the MAG in a report
signed by Lt.-Col. Ronen Hirsch said that when it investigated the soldier’s
sight line from the jeep, it concluded that it was impossible for the soldier to
have seen Tamimi when he fired the tear-gas canister.
The MAG said that
the soldier acted appropriately, given that the incident was a violent one, in
which Palestinian activists were throwing stones at the IDF.
that the investigation was made difficult by the refusal of a key witness to
Tamimi’s brother Louai told Reuters that he had been standing
next to Mustafa, throwing rocks, “four or five meters or less” from the
“When the soldier shot the tear gas, there is no doubt that he saw
us and struck my brother directly,” he said on Friday.
B’Tselem said in
response that the decision showed the military’s indifference to the lives of
Palestinians and warned that it was only a matter of time before another unarmed
Palestinian was killed.
“For Palestinians in the West Bank, the decision
is a clear message that they cannot expect justice from Israel’s legal system,”
On Sunday, B’Tselem will demand to see all the
investigation material in order to continue working to assure justice for the