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Palestinian toddler shot by Israeli soldiers dies from wounds

Two-year-old Muhammad Tamimi was hit in the head by army fire in the West Bank
Muhammad Tamimi, 2, was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers on 1 June 2023 (Social media)
Muhammad Tamimi (2) was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers on 1 June 2023 (Social media)
By Lubna Masarwa in Jerusalem

A two-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers died from his wounds on Monday.

Muhammad Tamimi and his father Haytham Tamimi were hit by Israeli fire near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.

The pair were in their parked car outside their home in Nabi Saleh village when they were targeted, according to eyewitnesses. 

Haytham was shot in the chest and taken to a hospital in Ramallah while Muhammad was seriously wounded in the head and evacuated to an Israeli hospital, where he remained on life support until he was pronounced dead this morning. 

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The Israeli military admitted to shooting the toddler and his father, saying they mistook them for Palestinian fighters. 

The army said in a statement that they were returning fire at a group of Palestinian fighters who allegedly targeted a settlement nearby with live fire minutes earlier. 

However, Basem Tamimi, a family relative and local activist, told Middle East Eye that Muhammad and Haytham were in a car and about to drive away. As soon as the car moved, Israeli soldiers shot at them. 

"Israeli forces were located near the house and fired lives bullets at the car," Basem said. 

Shaky footage taken by a resident reportedly shows the pair badly injured in a parked car outside their home.

Nabi Saleh, a small village located northwest of Ramallah, has long been in the spotlight due to being the location of various demonstrations against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. Because of this, it has been under heightened pressure from Israeli forces, who regularly carry out raids in the area.

According to Basem, at least 27 village residents have been killed since 1967, 400 wounded since 2009, and a further 400 arrested. 

He said the arrests and violence are part of an Israeli policy "to break the will of this generation". 

Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 119 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year and a further 34 in the Gaza Strip.

At least 25 children have been killed overall.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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