IDF clears soldier in Palestinian's death from tear-gas shot

Military Advocate-General’s Corps concludes soldier did not see Palestinian activist in the line of fire.

Tamimi shot 370 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
Tamimi shot 370
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
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.
It added that the investigation was made difficult by the refusal of a key witness to testify.
Tamimi’s brother Louai told Reuters that he had been standing next to Mustafa, throwing rocks, “four or five meters or less” from the jeep.
“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,” B’Tselem said.
On Sunday, B’Tselem will demand to see all the investigation material in order to continue working to assure justice for the Tamimi family.