Ramallah: The family of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, who was admitted to hospital on Monday after sustaining serious injuries in an Israeli tear gas attack, has decided to sue both the Palestinian medical authorities for negligence and medical mistakes and the Israeli occupation forces for unjustified firing.
The boy, Mohammad Bilal Abdul Salam Al Tamimi, who was standing beside his house in the village, took a direct hit from a steel tear gas shell fired by an Israeli army officer deployed on top of a house in his village of Al Nabi Saleh near Ramallah after a non-violent demonstration had ended in the village.
He suffered internal bleeding and finally had to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Palestine Medical Complex (PMC). Before that, however, a medical team of the Red Crescent ambulance had rushed him to Ramallah Emergency Hospital where he was wrongly diagnosed with nothing serious and released only a short while later.
Mahmoud Al Tamimi, Mohammad's uncle, told Gulf News that the condition of the boy deteriorated at night and his parents took him to a private hospital where he was diagnosed with serious injuries in the liver and kidney, which had caused serious internal bleeding and made him unconscious.
Al Tamimi, who is a member at the Palestinian Public Non-violent Resistance Movement (Intifada), said Mohammad was in a critical condition and his life was under serious threat. He had to be admitted to the ICU when he was rushed to the PMC from the private hospital.
Al Tamimi said the medical teams in Ramallah were on strike, which made an already bad situation for Mohammad even worse, but that could not be an excuse for the medical teams in Ramallah hospitals to ignore the boy's case. His admission to the PMC apparently took a long while because of pleading and negotiating with the hospital.
Al Tamimi said Mohammad's family had already spoken with top officials from the Palestinian Health Ministry and the Physicians Syndication and was waiting for the initial medical report to take the necessary legal action against the medical teams that committed the mistakes in diagnosis and neglected the boy's case.
The public resistance movement will press the Palestinian government to conduct all necessary official investigations into Mohammad's case and punish those committed lapses, he added.
Moreover, the Israeli military officer fired the tear gas shell from a short distance, which hit Mohammad square on. Hundreds of people, including international supporters, were eye witnesses to the incident, Al Tamimi said.
The Israeli forces were targeting Palestinian children in an unprecedented manner to force the Palestinian public to end their public non-violent resistance, he added.
"The Israelis are targeting the kids and handle them in extremely brutal ways to force parents to put an end to their resistance. We clearly announce that the non-violent resistance will never end, whatever the cost. Our kids are precious, but our resistance and our land is more valuable," he said.
Al Tamimi said all local, regional and international legal organisations are invited to attend the non-violent activities of the residents of Al Nabi Saleh, and to witness the violence of the Israeli forces on the ground.
As a national movement, Al Tamimi said, the public non-violent movement does not recognise the Israeli courts and judicial system. Therefore, the Israeli army will be sued with the help of some Arab and international legal organisations in international courts only and compensation claimed. "We do not recognise the Israeli courts and consider them just another side of the Israeli occupation," he said.
Mohammad's parents, however, are joining forces with the Beit Shalom, which highlights the atrocities and crimes of the Israeli army.
Al Tamimi said Mohammad's parents believe that their son's plight was a chance to show the brutality of the Israeli forces and the way they treat Palestinian children in a bid to put an end to the Israeli violence. Beit Shalom believes that in putting Israeli soldiers who commit offences on the Palestinians on trial for their brutality. Mohammad's parents will sue the Israeli army with its help and claim compensation in Israeli courts, which, if realised, they would hold to be a partial victory over the Israelis.
Mohammad has two brothers and a sister, and was standing by his home when the Israeli army officer fired a steel tear gas shell directly at him, seriously injuring him in the abdomen, leading to serious internal bleeding in his liver and kidneys.