≡ Menu

Who Killed Mustafa Tamimi? IDF Sgt. Aviram Boniel

mustafa tamimi's killer

Mustafa Tamimi’s lifeless body after being shot at point blank range by IDF Sgt. Aviram Boniel

Over the past week, an Israeli solidarity committee seeking accountability for the murder of Palestinian activist Mustafa Tamimi, orchestrated a masterful social media campaign.  Each day, they exposed a different level of the military command that was responsible for Tamimi’s death and those of thousands of other Palestinian civilians.  They closed the campaign today, which marks the first anniversary of the victim’s death (on December 9, 2011).

They began with Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and worked their way down until today, they got to the actual shooter, Sgt. Aviram Boniel.  He’s the one who fired a lethal high-velocity tear gas canister at point-blank range which smashed Tamimi’s head into a bloody pulp, killing him.

aviram boniel's murder weapon

Likely murder weapon that killed Mustafa Tamimi

The Most Moral Army in the World has surely investigating this horrific killing and brought the soldier responsible to justice.  What’s that you say?  A year since the incident occurred and not a peep from the IDF Advocate General’s office?  How can that be?  We have video of the murder.  We have IDF regulations and a Supreme Court ruling which forbid the practice of firing such rounds at close range directly at people.  What more could they want?  Apparently, more than any reasonable human being could want.  Perhaps they want a Judge Goldstone to write a UN report which will cause such embarrassment to Israel on the world stage that it will be forced, reluctantly to hold the killer accountable.

Sgt. Boniel’s Facebook account shows his face, masked and unmasked, that makes him look like the stone-cold killer he is.  His photo gallery even shows what’s likely the murder weapon.  But the gallery also shows Boniel reveling with his friends, drinking, standing by a swimming pool.  He might even be a half-way decent human being (though of course that’s hard to know) out of uniform.  It makes you realize the utter pathology that is the Israeli Army of Occupation.

Boniel grew up and attended high school in Beersheva.

UPDATE: There are two Aviram Boniel’s on Facebook.  I inadvertently linked to the wrong account initially.  This one is the correct one.

Bufferfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail
youtubeyoutube
{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Bob Mann December 8, 2012, 4:37 AM

    That website you linked to has photos of children, presumably his family members. Is this really something you want to be doing?

  • Deïr Yassin December 8, 2012, 5:32 AM

    AbdelRazzaq al-Tamimi, Mustafa’s father passed away in october. In an interview with Linah Alsaafin (Electronicintifada), he said: “We’re not fooling ourselves (…) We know we are not going to see any justice done to Mustafa. There have been thousands killed before him (…) What I hope for is that people remember him, that they will not forget him. I don’t want him to be forgotten.”
    There’s an interview with Mustafa’s father on the Facebook wall “Who killed Mustafa Tamimi ?” (linked by Richard) as well as this photo of happier days in the al-Tamimi-family:
    http://manara1ram.blog.com/files/2011/12/mustafa-and-his-family2.jpg
    PS. Mustafa’s cousin, Rushdi al-Tamimi, the brother-in-law of Bassem al-Tamimi was killed in november during a demonstration in Nabi Saleh in solidarity with the people of Gaza. A video of Israeli soldiers preventing his sister (filming for B’Tselem) and others from helping him when he was lying in the ground, wounded, is on the net.

  • Joel December 8, 2012, 6:21 AM

    “I inadvertently linked to the wrong account initially”

    Trigger happy?

    • Richard Silverstein December 9, 2012, 1:25 AM

      Trigger happy?

      I don’t pull triggers or kill people. Your friends like Aviram Boniel do.

  • mary December 8, 2012, 9:06 AM

    This happens again and again to Palestinians who are unarmed and peacefully protesting. It happened in 2009 to Bassem Abu Rahma of Bi’lin, who was shot in the chest with a tear gas canister shot by an occupation soldier. The shooting was caught on video, clearly showing the soldier aiming at Bassem, who was a tall man and wearing a bright yellow shirt. Bassem led the weekly protest against the separation wall and was well known to everyone, probably also the soldiers. A big man, he was easy to pick out of a crowd. He was never armed and would stop protesters from throwing stones at the soldiers. Of course, in spite of the video, the soldier was never charged and Bassem’s death became just another sad statistic.

    Tear gas canisters have become convenient murder weapons against unarmed Palestinians. They are very dangerous projectiles and soldiers tend to fire them at people instead of into the air, the proper method. I don’t expect anyone will be charged in Mustafa’s death either. In the case of Tristan Anderson, the young American who was severely brain damaged by being shot with a tear gas canister, his civil suit is, as far as I know, still pending.

    • Bob Mann December 8, 2012, 9:11 AM

      But do you blame the individual soldier or the army itself (or both)? Clearly this action is a violation of official policy, but is the policy not enforced deliberately? Was this soldier told to shoot directly at the rock-thrower by his superiors or did he do so against orders? In either case, someone needs to be held accountable.

      • dickerson3870 December 8, 2012, 7:09 PM

        RE: “But do you blame the individual soldier or the army itself (or both)? Clearly this action is a violation of official policy, but is the policy not enforced deliberately?” ~ Bob Mann

        SEE: “‘You are fighting a religious war against gentiles': What rabbis told Israeli soldiers in Gaza war”, By Mail Foreign Service, The Daily Mail, 3/20/09

        [EXCERPTS] Rabbis in the Israeli army told battlefield troops in January’s Gaza offensive that they were fighting a ‘religious war’ against gentiles, it has been revealed.
        An army commander wrote of the shocking command in an Israeli newspaper today – one day after it emerged that Israeli soldiers were told they could kill innocent civilians during the war.

        ‘Their message was very clear: we are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land,’ the commander said.
        The account by Ram, a pseudonym to shield the soldier’s identity, was published by the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper in the second day of revelations that have rocked the Israeli military.
        They were leaked from a February 13 meeting of armed forces members to share their Gaza experiences.

        Some veterans, alumni of an Israel Defence Force (IDF) military academy, told of the killing of civilians and their impression that deep contempt for Palestinians pervaded the ranks of the Israeli forces.
        The institution’s director, Danny Zamir, confirmed that Thursday’s published accounts were authentic.
        In longer excerpts in its Friday ‘Week’s End’ edition, the daily quoted ‘Ram’ as saying his impression of the 22-day operation was ‘the feeling of an almost religious mission’. . .
        . . . [T]he rabbinate’s message imparted to many soldiers the sense that “this operation was a religious war”.

        A squad commander from Ram’s Givat Brigade, named as Aviv, recounted his misgivings about orders to break down doors with armoured vehicles and shoot anyone inside, floor by floor. In the event, the order was amended to include ‘operating megaphones’ so advancing troops could tell people they had five minutes to get out or be killed.
        Aviv said ‘there was a very annoying moment’ when he briefed his men and one challenged that order, saying: ‘Yeah? Anyone who is in there is a terrorist, that’s a known fact. . .
        ‘And then his buddies join in: “We need to murder any person who’s in there, yeah, any person who’s in Gaza is a terrorist’ and all the other things that they stuff our heads with, in the media,’ Aviv said. . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1163508/You-fighting-religious-war-gentiles-What-rabbis-told-Israeli-soldiers-Gaza-war.html

        • dickerson3870 December 8, 2012, 7:29 PM

          P.S. ALSO SEE: “IDF rabbinate publication during Gaza war: We will show no mercy on the cruel”, By Amos Harel, Haaretz, 1/26/09

          [EXCERPT] During the fighting in the Gaza Strip, the religious media – and on two occasions, the Israel Defense Forces weekly journal Bamahane – were full of praise for the army rabbinate. The substantial role of religious officers and soldiers in the front-line units of the IDF was, for the first time, supported also by the significant presence of rabbis there.
          The chief army rabbi, Brigadier General Avichai Rontzki, joined the troops in the field on a number of occasions, as did rabbis under his command.
          Officers and soldiers reported that they felt “spiritually elevated” and “morally empowered” by conversations with rabbis who gave them encouragement before the confrontation with the Palestinians.
          But what exactly was the content of these conversations and of the plethora of written material disseminated by the IDF rabbinate during the war? A reservist battalion rabbi told the religious newspaper B’Sheva last week that Rontzki explained to his staff that their role was not “to distribute wine and challah for Shabbat to the troops,” but “to fill them with yiddishkeit and a fighting spirit.”
          An overview of some of the army rabbinate’s publications made available during the fighting reflects the tone of nationalist propaganda that steps blatantly into politics, sounds racist and can be interpreted as a call to challenge international law when it comes to dealing with enemy civilians.
          Haaretz has received some of the publications through Breaking the Silence, a group of former soldiers who collect evidence of unacceptable behavior in the army vis-a-vis Palestinians. Other material was provided by officers and men who received it during Operation Cast Lead. Following are quotations from this material:
          [There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it.” This is an excerpt from a publication entitled “Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead,” issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from “Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner,” who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.
          The following questions are posed in one publication: “Is it possible to compare today’s Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?” Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: “A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land … They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country … Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence.”
          The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: “When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers. ‘A la guerre comme a la guerre.'”

          In addition to the official publications, extreme right-wing groups managed to bring pamphlets with racist messages into IDF bases. One such flyer is attributed to “the pupils of Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg” – the former rabbi at Joseph’s Tomb and author of the article “Baruch the Man,” which praises Baruch Goldstein, who massacred unarmed Palestinians in Hebron. It calls on “soldiers of Israel to spare your lives and the lives of your friends and not to show concern for a population that surrounds us and harms us. We call on you … to function according to the law ‘kill the one who comes to kill you.’ As for the population, it is not innocent … We call on you to ignore any strange doctrines and orders that confuse the logical way of fighting the enemy.” . . .

          ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-rabbinate-publication-during-gaza-war-we-will-show-no-mercy-on-the-cruel-1.268849

        • dickerson3870 December 8, 2012, 7:46 PM

          P.S. ALSO SEE: “IDF rabbinate publication during Gaza war: We will show no mercy on the cruel”, By Amos Harel, Haaretz, 1/26/09

          [EXCERPTS] During the fighting in the Gaza Strip, the religious media – and on two occasions, the Israel Defense Forces weekly journal Bamahane
          – were full of praise for the army rabbinate. . .

          Officers and soldiers reported that they felt “spiritually elevated” and “morally empowered” by conversations with rabbis who gave them encouragement before the confrontation with the Palestinians.
          But what exactly was the content of these conversations and of the plethora of written material disseminated by the IDF rabbinate during the war? . . .
          . . . An overview of some of the army rabbinate’s publications made available during the fighting reflects the tone of nationalist propaganda that steps blatantly into politics, sounds racist and can be interpreted as a call to challenge international law when it comes to dealing with enemy civilians. . .
          . . . Following are quotations from this material: “[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it.” This is an excerpt from a publication entitled “Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead,” issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from “Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner,” who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.
          The following questions are posed in one publication: “Is it possible to compare today’s Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?” Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: “A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land … They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country … Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence.”
          The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: “When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral. These are not games at the amusement park where sportsmanship teaches one to make concessions. This is a war on murderers. ‘A la guerre comme a la guerre.'” . . .
          . . . In addition to the official publications, extreme right-wing groups managed to bring pamphlets with racist messages into IDF bases. One such flyer is attributed to “the pupils of Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg” – the former rabbi at Joseph’s Tomb and author of the article “Baruch the Man,” which praises Baruch Goldstein, who massacred unarmed Palestinians in Hebron. It calls on “soldiers of Israel to spare your lives and the lives of your friends and not to show concern for a population that surrounds us and harms us. We call on you … to function according to the law ‘kill the one who comes to kill you.’ As for the population, it is not innocent … We call on you to ignore any strange doctrines and orders that confuse the logical way of fighting the enemy.” . . .

          ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-rabbinate-publication-during-gaza-war-we-will-show-no-mercy-on-the-cruel-1.268849

    • Yanshuf December 9, 2012, 11:46 AM

      Mary,
      Would you be able to clarify how many Palestinians have been killed by tear gas projectiles in the last 5 years or so?

      Thanks

      • Richard Silverstein December 9, 2012, 12:34 PM

        I don’t understand your point. You mean because 20 or so Palestinians and international activists have been murdered in this way it’s somehow insignificant? Sorry. That’s not how the rest of the world works (though it is how Israel works). The rest of the world, which values ALL human life doesn’t permit any murders in cold blood. Even the IDF violates its own rules in permitting is soldiers to commit these murders.

      • mary December 9, 2012, 2:27 PM

        Why tear gas projectiles in particular, Yanshuf? The IOF is an opportunistic murderer. I could give you figures on all the interesting ways they kill civilians and/or international activists. Bulldozers, bullets, motor vehicles, which? What is so interesting is that there have also been reports by activists of being shot at with tear gas canisters and the soldiers missed their targets. Oh, I should also mention that 2 years ago a young American Jewish woman was the target of a tear gas projectile, and she was shot in the face and lost an eye. Maiming is also a sport of the IOF, so it seems.

        So if you’re implying that we are making too much of this, think again. The soldiers who fire tear gas at demonstrators are presumably trained in the handling and proper firing of the canisters at crowds. There is no excuse that can be made for a tear gas projectile that is fired so that it maims or kills a human being. None.

        • Sarah January 4, 2013, 6:32 AM

          I just want to chime in for a second. In addition to the Jewish American woman, two Israeli men (one a lawyer) have also lost eyes to rubber bullets (both in Bil’in). I, myself, (an American non-Jewish woman) was somewhat (though not nearly as dramatically) maimed by a tear gas canister by the IOF in a demonstration in Qusine (up near Nablus). They “meant?” to fire past me, but instead took off 1/3 of my middle left finger. Whether or not this is a strategic plan of the IOF, it happens frequently. Murders happen. It doesn’t matter how much, it only matters that it happens and no one is brought to justice for these horrific and dehumanizing crimes.

          • Sarah January 4, 2013, 6:48 AM
          • mary January 5, 2013, 1:37 AM

            Anyone, literally anyone, is fair game, and as I said, the soldiers know what they’re doing. The army is becoming more right wing extreme, in step with the government. In Bilin yesterday a memorial ceremony took place for Jawaher Abu Rahmah, who was Bassem’s sister, and whose death was also caused two years ago by tear gas. She died of tear gas poisoning and asphyxiation.

  • Yonatan December 8, 2012, 9:34 AM

    The Facebook page has gone. Did anyone take a copy of it?

  • Nimrod December 8, 2012, 10:23 AM

    What is there exactly to investigate?
    The was a video footage of the incident, and what happened is very clear.

    Mr Tamimi ran after a jeep and hurled a rock at it,
    The soldiers in the Jeeps fired a tear gas canister that hit him directly in the head, and he was killed on the spot.

    There are lessons to be learned form this, that should have been already clear:
    1. a tear gas canister can kill a person when fired directly from close range.
    2. throwing rocks at military vehicles is dangerous.

    • Richard Silverstein December 9, 2012, 1:24 AM

      What is there exactly to investigate?

      Precisely the IDF’s approach as well. Congratulations, you see the world the same blindered way. What’s to investigate? You clearly have’t read my post or ignored the inconvenient parts which noted it is a direct violation of IDF rules to fire this weapon at close range directly at an individual. Second, the Supreme Court has also banned it. That doesn’t stop IDF officers and soldiers from doing precisely the opposite, which indicates the IDF is supporting direct violation of its own rules of engagement. That means that both the killer & his commanders should all be tried for violating IDF rules.

      But they won’t be because murder is accepted, even rewarded in the IDF. What to investigate indeed.

      You also neglected to comment on the fact that rock-throwing has apparently become a capital offense under IDF guidelines. Can you show us the rule that says soldiers may execute Palestinians for rock-throwing?

    • mary December 9, 2012, 3:01 AM

      If this incident took place in the US, you can bet your ass there would be an investigation, and possibly a grand jury.

      Amazing how little the lives of Palestinians matter to zionists. Nimrod is a perfect example. His sense of fairness is so skewed that he seems to think it’s OK to kill a person (Palestinian of course) via illegal means, for throwing a rock.

      And Israel whines about rockets from Gaza while such acts as what happened to Mr. Tamimi happen daily under this occupation. I am happy to provide substantiation of this claim if anyone wants it.

    • rudy stiener December 17, 2012, 2:18 PM

      nimrod by name nimrod by nature eh??

  • Arie Brand December 9, 2012, 4:18 AM

    Yes the rise of the military rabbis is worrying. I read that in at least one unit the ram’s horn was blown before it went into Gaza during Cast lead. Murder had to be sanctified.

    “According to Reserve Gen Nehemia Dagan, what is happening in the army is far more dangerous than most Israelis realise: “We (soldiers) used to be able to put aside our own ideas in order to do what we had to do. It didn’t matter if we were religious or from a kibbutz. But that’s not the case anymore.
    “The morals of the battlefield cannot come from a religious authority. Once it does, it’s Jihad. I know people will not like that word but that’s what it is, Holy War. And once it’s Holy War there are no limits.” ”

    Exactly.

    Do any of these people ever worry about how such things are perceived outside Israel or was the late Tony Judt right in saying that Israel had become “autistic” – that it can no longer see what impression its activities make on the outside world and that it has lost touch with reality?

    • Elisabeth December 9, 2012, 8:07 AM

      When people do realize how things are perceived outside Israel, many seem to have a defense mechanism in place, whereby the outside world’s views are automatically regarded as stemming from anti-Semitism. So these views can be ignored as irrational. Such an imaginary idea of being universally hated by everyone who is not Jewish not only means you have lost touch with reality, but also promotes treating everyone as an enemy. Pretty destructive.

  • Joneric Ackerman January 16, 2013, 5:03 PM

    Why is it that whenever we see someone claiming to stand for peace it is inevitably someone like Mr. Silverstein, mounting a broken down milk crate to spit on Israel? Where is the blame directed at “Palestinians”? Mr. Silverstein’s childish theatrics only promotes more violence. “Ooops, just linked to the wrong Facebook page, so what if I accused an innocent man of murder? What does it matter?” So typical, so sad.

    • Richard Silverstein January 21, 2013, 6:31 PM

      I don’t spit on Israel. But I do spit on murderers and haters. Israel unfortunately has its share, some of whom are Sergeants, some generals, and some prime ministers. But Israel? No.

Leave a Comment