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Family denies Hebron teen killed by Israel was carrying toy gun
Published Thursday 13/12/2012 (updated) 15/12/2012 21:00
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Muhammad al-Salaymeh had studied circus performance for
nearly two years. (MaanImages/Palestinian Circus School, HO)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Relatives and a Palestinian human rights group on Thursday disputed Israel's claim that a Palestinian teenager killed in Hebron was carrying a toy gun.

An Israeli border guard shot dead Muhammad al-Salaymeh on Wednesday, his 17th birthday.

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Ma'an on Thursday that he had nothing to add to initial findings immediately after the shooting that Muhammad pointed a fake gun at forces at a checkpoint in the southern West Bank city.

An investigation by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Muhammad was on his way home from buying a birthday cake when he arrived at the checkpoint.

PCHR found that another child, who had a plastic pistol, was being detained by troops. When Muhammad reached the checkpoint he was shot by a border guard at close range, killing him immediately, PCHR said.

The teen's uncle, also named Muhammad Salaymeh, said the Israeli police's version of events did not ring true.

"We live in a place which is like a military base for Israeli forces; dozens of soldiers are spread out over the area, checkpoints and cameras are everywhere to watch our movements," he told Ma'an.

"Every resident knows exactly the difficulties anyone will have for just carrying a black plastic bag, we're being searched and watched constantly … Muhammad lived in this area and was aware that any unusual movement will put him in trouble."

His uncle continued: "The boy went to the store to buy his gift in order to celebrate his 17th birthday with his mother, father and siblings. Why would he pull out a weapon and point it at soldiers? "

"Plastic guns are for toys for children under the age of 10, why would Muhammad hold a fake gun?"

Israeli forces kept al-Salaymah's body for over two hours before handing him over the Palestine Red Crescent Society, releasing the body on condition the teenager was not buried in the al-Raas cemetery near the family home, relatives and PCHR said.

Al-Salaymah was laid to rest Thursday in a cemetery in Limboa in northern Hebron.

Sports hero

Meanwhile, Muhammad's colleagues from his sporting career expressed grief at losing the talented teenager.

"The Palestinian sporting community lost a promising hero," Abdul Arim al-Jaabari, director of the Palestinian union for wrestling, told Ma'an.

Al-Salaymah represented Palestine in international wrestling tournaments and had won gold and silver medals, al-Jaabari said.

He had also studied to with the Palestinian Circus School for nearly two years, learning to perform juggling, acrobatics and the human pyramid, the school's manager Shadi Zmorrod told Ma'an.

"He was completely in love with the circus .. every Saturday he was the first student waiting for the trainers to arrive," Zmorrod said.

"Muhammad was super kind, polite, a very gentle little person. He was was totally different to other students who come from Hebron's Old City where they frequently come across violence -- that is what shocked us (about his death.)"

Just days ago Muhammad was pestering Zmorrod to set up a circus event for young children in Hebron's Old City, he said.

1 ) Ben Leeman / Australia
14/12/2012 01:58
Killing Palestinians only increases the rapidly increasing world-wide opposition to Israeli policies. Israel either needs to genuinely and urgently support a two state policies, resulting in a viable Palestinian state and a secure Israeli state based on 1967 borders or become isolated internationally. Israel may need to be referred to the International Human Rights Court in The Hague - the sooner the better. Likewise all countries should stop trading with Israel.

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
14/12/2012 02:14
Why waste time dignifying the lies of Zionists with a rebuttal? They always lie, and everyone knows they're lying. The only point of interest is what it is that they are trying to make you believe.

3 ) ian / australia
14/12/2012 14:32
Which is more likely? 17-year-old Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah, on an errand to buy a birthday cake for a party at home (having previously posed for a photo with cakes at school) goes crazy in a checkpoint guard house and holds a (realistic) replica gun to a guard's head and is killed by quick thinking 20-year-old Nofar Mizrahi. (Nofar has no regrets and is just glad no guards were killed in the attack, though the gun was plastic) OR...something goes horribly wrong at a checkpoint,

4 ) ian / australia
14/12/2012 14:33
(contd.) some action or attitude is misread by a jittery young guard who fears the worst and shoots him...six times. Perhaps he was in high spirits because it was his birthday and he was buying cake. Perhaps he was on a sugar high. Or just not mutely subservient. And the fake gun? It's conceivably something a silly, jock school boy might have in his bag (he was called a "sporting hero" at the funeral). Perhaps Nofar Mizrahi caught a glimpse of it as he searched for his laminated papers.

5 ) ian / australia
14/12/2012 14:34
(contd.) Or maybe the fake gun, now prominent in Google Images, is pure invention to cover-up a police debacle. It has boiled down to "he said/she said" about what happened in a closed room without witnesses or CCTV. Nofar Mizrahi has her version of events (backed up now by fellow guards) and Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah has his...which sadly we will never know because he's dead.

6 ) some ne / some where
14/12/2012 15:01
the wall of lie is high but as sange say the sun can not hide behind the cloud forever so keep talking

7 ) Mel / USA
14/12/2012 16:21
Zionist Israel is a lying sack of sh** DISGRACE,to humanity!Israel thinks it's a law unto itself?But it's just a slimey nest of sociopathic,barbaric leeches,sponsored(temporarily)by a unilateral,but WANING autocracy which Israel would scupper on its OWN way down! Every day,our Western'allies' are jumping ship FAST,because of collusion!And all we're left with is f*cking BARBARIAN Israel,& al-Qaeda,Salafists,&Wahhabi-whackjobs as our head-chopping PROXIES?Way 2 go D.C.Very'visionary'for USsecurity

8 ) Julie / USA
14/12/2012 17:30
IOF's claim of a fake gun is VERY EASY TO PROVE! all they have to do is RELEASE the entire duration of UNEDITED, UNADULTERATED, UNMANIPULATED RAW FILM FOOTAGE from the SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS which are at EVERY CHECKPOINT! wait...what's that...NO FILM FOOTAGE???? uhh, WHY NOT?? was it deleted like the video of Jamal Julani who was attacked by izraeli lynch mob in Zion Square back in August? or does the film footage NOT exist because there was NO FAKE GUN??? the world knows: IZRAEL LIES!!!!!!!

9 ) Arnold / Canada
14/12/2012 21:34
Boys of all ages like toy guns. Even men. That is not to say this kid had a toy gun. Maybe the IDF has proof.

10 ) @ Mel-7 & Julie-8 / USA too
14/12/2012 23:36
Even if YOUR LIES ABOUT ISRAEL, as a "lying sack", or a "lynch mob," were the Truth, which they are not, the situation will forever remain, that THE ONLY ROUTE TO CHANGE, and a better life for Palestinians, IS TO NEGOTIATE WITH ISRAEL, regardless of how unfair Palestinians feel Israeli terms (no preconditions) are to begin negotiations, and will also likely be (no 1967 or refugee return) to concule negotiations !!

11 ) carine / UK
15/12/2012 00:30
PCHR say Mohammed reached the checkpoint while Israelis were arresting a child who was carrying a toy gun. IMO he was killed because he saw something he wasn't meant to see. There is also a video clip taken minutes after his death, of soldiers shooting at Palestinians who arrived to see what was was happening. See Mondoweiss for the link.

12 ) Ben Alofs / UK/Netherlands
15/12/2012 01:03
The Israeli claim that a Palestinian teenager pointed a toy gun at border guards and was then killed on the spot by one of them, never made much sense. Now we hear that the boy was celebrating his 17th birthday and was on his way home after buying a birthday cake. A promising Palestinian sporting hero wanting to commit suicide? I think the Israeli border guards are trying to cover up a tragic and criminal blunder. Show us the CCTV footage!! What a cruel end to a promising young life!

13 ) mondoweiss / US/Israel
15/12/2012 02:53
has a film and a report about it...approximately 18:30 on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, Mohammed Ziad Awad al-Salayma, 17, was on his way home after buying a cake to celebrate his birthday, which was on the same day. When he arrived at an Isr checkpoint ... Isr soldiers at the checkpoint were detaining a child, who had a plastic pistol.Once al-Salayma reached the checkpoint, an Isr soldier fired at him from a close range.Isr forces kept his body for over 2hrs before delivering him to an ambulance

14 ) Esam / Venezuela
15/12/2012 03:00
How very,very sad. Am I upset at Israel? Of course I am but let me tell you who I'm more upset about, the freaking Arab world. How did it ever come to be that the Arabs have no will, no interest, no heart, to stand for each other? How did it ever come to be that Palestinians are being systematically erased from the face of the earth and their Arab bretren can't find it in themselves to form a NATO style force to protect each other. All that oil money gone for nothing, absolutely nothing.

15 ) Reader / from Edmonton
15/12/2012 03:40
The next time the IDF demands your cake, give them the cake.

16 ) southparkbear / usa
15/12/2012 04:55
say what you want we don't give a damn. we heard and experienced too many lies on 1 hand and we see hate taught at kindergarden on the other. these has been the paterrn for 100 years. so say what you want we know the truth

17 ) we know that for a long time / XX
15/12/2012 17:37
yes yes #16 we know that jew killed him in cold blood....we know.... now she (and the idf that attacked the tv crue) must go to jail.... thank for the mondoweiss info!!

18 ) carine / UK
15/12/2012 18:22
Southparkbear , another Zionist lashing out at everyone when his heroes are exposed as the liars and murderers that they are.

19 ) ian / australia
16/12/2012 00:08
Seems smiling, raven-tressed Nofar Mizrahi (Google Images) is a cold-blooded killer and a liar. This article is utterly damning; the uncle's remarks TOO convincing to ignore: about how EVERYONE living under lockdown in H2, INCLUDING Muhammad Salaymah, was acutely aware that "any unusual movement will put him in trouble". Also on toy guns: that they're the toys of VERY young children (tolerated due to the incongruousness) and that the idea of a 17-year-old with a child's toy is

20 ) ian / australia
16/12/2012 00:10
(contd.) preposterous. And NOW it emerges the guards HAD detained a child with a toy gun (for kicks, there being no conceivable threat) just as Muhammad arrived with his birthday cake (to re-enter the neighbourhood from hell) in a large, suspicious package...and was shot and killed for some "unusual movement" which "put him in trouble". In damage control, the guards morphed stories and had Muhammad "attacking" them with the plastic toy. A truly despicable sequence of events. On an ENDLESS list

21 ) ian / australia
16/12/2012 00:12
(contd.) with ALL the others. (I see Colin's point (#2) about dignifing the lies but in this case I think exposing the cover-up is important and should be spelt out and broadcast in detail.)

22 ) ian / australia
16/12/2012 00:47
#9 "Boys of all ages like toy guns. Even men." Nice try Arnold but the uncle, who would seem pretty strong on "local knowledge", the kinds of things you only know about a place by living there (like for instance how EVERYTHING you buy comes in the same black plastic bags) thinks otherwise. Toy guns are the toys of SMALL children. Teenagers outgrow them...and besides would be INCREDIBLY dangerous to carry round in a war zone like Hebron. "That is not to say this kid had a toy gun." Seeds of doubt

23 ) ian / australia
16/12/2012 00:52
(contd.) Seeds of doubt Arnold? Good to see. "Maybe the IDF has proof." The IDF are pathological liars (for obvious "security" reasons) and any "proof" from them is worthless. Muhammad Salaymah, aspiring circus acrobat and apparenly all-round sweet kid, was killed in a tragic police blunder which Israel is desperate to cover up (though not too successfully so far IMHO). Peace.

24 ) ian / australia
16/12/2012 01:19
#16 "say what you want we don't give a damn. we heard and experienced too many lies on 1 hand and we see hate taught at kindergarden on the other." southparkbear clearly losing it. The first bit is quite true ("we don't give a damn"). The next bit isn't: Palestinians don't really lie. They're not cynical or cunning or duplicitous. (That would be Israel.) They state grievances plainly and honestly. The third bit, "hate taught at kindergarden" is just groping around desperately for an all-purpose

25 ) ian / australia
16/12/2012 01:20
(contd.) mantra (like "human shields)...only this time it's the old (non-existent) "Palestinian textbooks" full of murderous Jew-hatred canard. Yep, losing it (hehehe).

26 ) gabi / australia
16/12/2012 02:24
#s 10 and 16 - You know what? No-one believes your Zionist nonsense about the "most moral army in the world" anymore - so stop wasting your breath, prattling on and on and on . . .
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