Yotam Berger and Jack Khoury : Israeli Army: Tamimi's Teen Cousin Admits Head Wounds Not Caused by Bullet, but by Bike Crash





The cousin of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi admitted during an interrogation that he was not shot in his head during clashes last year, but rather was injured in a bike accident, Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, wrote Tuesday in a Facebook post in Arabic.


Mohammed Tamimi, the 15-year-old cousin of Ahed – who was caught on film slapping Israel Defense Forces soldiers on December 15, 2017, and is currently facing trial – was shot minutes before that incident in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. 
At the time, Tamimi was seriously wounded and was operated on by doctors who extracted bullet fragments from his skull. Tamimi was arrested Monday in his village, along with nine other Palestinian youths, half of whom are minors.
Tamimi was released after his interrogation.   Writing on Almunasseq, COGAT's Arabic-language Facebook page, Mordechai challenged the original story behind Tamimi's head injury. He wrote that while being questioned by police, the teen admitted that, as opposed to claims by his father that he was injurred by rubber-tipped bullets during clashes, "he was injured while he was riding his bicycle and fell off it."        Writing on Almunasseq, COGAT's Arabic-language Facebook page, Mordechai challenged the original story behind Tamimi's head injury. He wrote that while being questioned by police, the teen admitted that, as opposed to claims by his father that he was injurred by rubber-tipped bullets during clashes, "he was injured while he was riding his bicycle and fell off it."                                                        However, the version of events described by Mordechai does not coincide eyewitness accounts obtained by Haaretz, according to which the day Tamimi was injured, IDF forces were firing at Palestinians who were throwing stones, with the aim of dispersing them. Tamimi, witnesses said, was standing on a ladder behind a wall and was hit in the head the moment he raised it above the ledge.
Haaretz has also seen Tamimi's CAT scan and images of the bullet fractures removed from his skull.
Residents of Nabi Saleh said Tamimi told the police that he had been hurt in a bike accident and not shot by the IDF so that he would be released after being detained. They said he was scared and worried that if he said he had been shot, there would be evidence against him and his detention would be extended.https:/After Mordechai's post was published, the Tamimi family responded that "what began as a bizarre attempt to prove that we are not even a family has deteriorated into a denial of reality."
In response to request to comment from Haaretz, army sources said that Tamimi was questioned by the police, and they cannot confirm the origins of his injury.    

Yotam Berger

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