West News Wire: Osama, 7, has nightmares every night that keep him awake since his younger brother was killed by Israeli soldiers earlier this month, a killing that Israeli forces now claim was “a mistake.” 

The “unintentional” killing of Mohammed al-Tamimi, age 2, was attributed by the Israeli military on Wednesday to a soldier who believed the Palestinian boy and his father to be escaping assailants after firing towards the unlawfully occupied West Bank settlement of Neve Tzu. 

The Israeli army issued a statement following an initial inquiry, stating that the suspect “spotted a suspicious vehicle during the search and fired several times into the air in violation of orders.” 

“Simultaneously, a soldier stationed at a guard post identified two figures getting into a vehicle thought they were the terrorists fleeing the scene and that they were firing at him from the vehicle. After receiving permission from his commander, the soldier fired several bullets toward the vehicle,” the statement continued. 

The statement went on to say that the only action that would be taken was reprimanding the soldier who had fired into the air “in violation of orders” and that the army would “continue to learn and improve”. 

On June 2, the day of the event, Mohammed’s father, Haitham al-Tamimi, said that he was accompanying his son to a niece’s birthday party when Israeli forces opened fire on them. 

Marwa al-Tamimi, his mother, heard gunshots while she was nearby. 

As previously reported, Marwa said, “I ran outside to see what was going on.” 

The upset mother continued, “My husband was shouting during the ongoing gunfire while driving, saying, ‘Hamoudi, Hamoudi’ [referring to his tiny boy]. 

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While his kid was transported by helicopter to Israel’s Sheba hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries five days later, Haitham was also hurt in the event and sent to a hospital in Ramallah. 

The family is still in shock about the death of Mohammed, with Haitham calling Israel’s initial investigation into it a “cover-up”. 

“Of course, we were not expecting justice, but this report feels to us like a crime on top of the original crime,” he said. 

“This is all they have to say when my son is killed in cold blood? When his life was cut off before I could discover what kind of person he’d become.” 

Hundreds of Palestinian mourners gathered in Ramallah last week to bury the toddler. 

If the Israeli military decides to open a criminal investigation, the soldiers involved may face consequences. 

The Palestinian foreign ministry is demanding accountability for the death, deeming the incident a crime. 

Tensions in the West Bank are high as Israel has been expanding its near-nightly military raids in the occupied territory under its most right-wing government yet. 

Since the start of 2023, Israeli forces have killed at least 158 Palestinians, including 26 children, according to the Wafa news agency. 

The death toll also includes 36 Palestinians killed by the Israeli army during a four-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip from May 9 to 13. 

More than 700,000 Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 War. 


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