Tristan Anderson, the American activist Israel shot with a tear gas canister, is in critical condition. According to witnesses, their were not clashes to provoke this. There were active demonstrations earlier that morning, but no imminent need for tear gas against them.
Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack told Ynet that “the firing incident took place inside the village and not next to the fence. There were clashes in the earlier hours, but he wasn’t part of them. He didn’t throw stones and wasn’t standing next to the stone throwers.”
Tristan’s skull was fractured and some of the bone fragments entered his brain. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister and his right eye was also badly injured, friends said.
He underwent surgery to have part of his frontal lobe removed and it appears more surgeries will be needed. He is in intensive care. Orly Levi, a spokeswoman at the Tel Hashomer hospital, said, “He’s in critical condition, anesthetized and on a ventilator and undergoing imaging tests.” She described Anderson’s condition as life-threatening.
Anderson is known in the Bay Area, California for tree-sitting to prevent the building of a sports training center at UC-Berkeley.
Israel has apparently been using a new type of the tear gas canister called sarukh. It can reach around 500 meters, a ten fold increase from previous weapons. Bullet-shaped, it is hard to see because of the velocity and color. According to the International Solidarity Movement, soldiers have been targeting demonstrators and several people have been injured for example it has broken a persons leg. It is fatal weapon in the form of a crowd dispersal tool, which is brilliant since it lets Israel have an excuse for each person it kills.
ISM released a video of the protests and Israel’s fierce response. Warning, it shows Anderson’s fresh injury.
According to the ISM, Israel killed four Ni’lin residents during demonstrations against the confiscation of their land.
Ahmed Mousa (10) was shot in the forehead with live ammunition on 29th July 2008. The following day, Yousef Amira (17) was shot twice with rubber-coated steel bullets, leaving him brain dead. He died a week later on 4 August 2008. Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22), was the third Ni’lin resident to be killed by Israeli forces. He was shot in the back with live ammunition on 28 December 2008. That same day, Mohammed Khawaje (20), was shot in the head with live ammunition, leaving him brain dead. He died three days in a Ramallah hospital.
It is tragic that people have to protest to enforce the International Court of Justice’s 2004 advisory opinion on the Wall. It emphasizes how deplorable the acquiescence of the world is — the powers do nothing as a rightsless people are left to fend for themselves.
CORRECTION – This post previously misidentified someone with Anderson at the hospital as an “ISM activist.” I confused the quoted individual — who was at the hospital with Anderson — with an activist who was. I apologize for the error.