Friday, March 13, 2009

Israeli troops shoot peaceful protester in the head:


Paramedics carry Tristan Anderson who was severely wounded in a clash between protesters and Israeli troops in the town of Naalin in the West Bank, Friday March 13 2009. (AP Photo / Arafat Kana'an) ** TV OUT ** (Arafat Kana'an / AP)

San Francisco Chronicle

March 13, 2009

"Ex-Cal tree-sitter hurt in West Bank protest"


OAKLAND -- An Oakland man who was among the tree-sitters who fought to save a grove of oaks and redwoods next to UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium was critically wounded in the West Bank today by an Israeli-fired tear-gas canister, officials and acquaintances said.

Tristan Anderson, 38, was injured during a protest over the separation barrier that Israel erected between it and the West Bank. An Israeli soldier fired the canister during a clash with protesters and hit Anderson in the head, said Ulrika Jenson of Sweden, an activist with the International Solidarity Movement.

Jenson, who saw the incident, said in a statement released by the group that "the Israeli soldiers were standing on the hill looking over us, firing tear-gas canisters straight into the crowd."

"Tristan was hit and fell to the ground," Jenson said. "He had a large hole in the front of his head. I tried to stop the bleeding, but he was bleeding heavily from the head, nose and mouth."

Anderson underwent brain surgery at Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv and was in the intensive care unit, Woody Berch, who works in civil-rights law in Israel, said after visiting the hospital.

Orly Levi, a hospital spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that Anderson's condition was "life-threatening."

Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Berkeley chapter of the International Solidarity Movement, said, "He's really touch-and-go. He's hanging from a thread."

Anderson's girlfriend Gabrielle Silverman, 25, was keeping a vigil at the hospital, group members said.

Anderson and Silverman were among those arrested during the 21-month-long tree-sitting protest at UC Berkeley over the university's plan to cut down a grove to build an athletic training center. The standoff ended in September and the university cut down the trees.

The couple went to Israel because they are "concerned about human-rights violations," Larudee said. "They are involved in defending human rights in many different places. They just felt compelled to do that in Palestine."

The protest took place in the West Bank town of Naalin, where Palestinians and international backers frequently gather to demonstrate against the barrier.

Israel says the barrier is necessary to keep Palestinian attackers from infiltrating into Israel. But Palestinians view it as a land grab because it juts into the West Bank at multiple points.

The military says the area where the protests take place is a closed military zone off-limits to demonstrations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. E-mail Henry K. Lee at


"American citizen critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces in Ni’lin"

Updated Press Release follows

Tristan Anderson

Photo: Tristan Anderson

- For Immediate Release -

13th Friday 2009, Ni’lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni’lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.

Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on.

Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500m. I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed.

– Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) - International Solidarity Movement

The Israeli army began using to use a high velocity tear gas canister in December 2008. The black canister, labeled in Hebrew as “40mm bullet special/long range,” can shoot over 400 meters. The gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous and has caused numerous injuries, including a Palestinian male whose leg was broken in January 2009.

Please Contact:

Adam Taylor (English), ISM Media Office +972 8503948
Sasha Solanas (English), ISM Media Office - +972 549032981
Woody Berch (English), at Tel Hashomer hospital +972 548053082

Tristan Anderson was shot as Israeli forces attacked a demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall through the village of Ni’lin’s land. Another resident from Ni’lin was shot in the leg with live ammunition.

Four Ni’lin residents have been killed 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.

Residents in the village of Ni’lin have been demonstrating against the construction of the Apartheid Wall, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Ni’lin will lose approximately 2500 dunums of agricultural land when the construction of the Wall is completed. Ni’lin was 57,000 dunums in 1948, reduced to 33,000 dunums in 1967, currently is 10,000 dunums and will be 7,500 dunums after the construction of the Wall.


Orly Levi, a spokeswoman at the Tel Hashomer hospital, tells Ha’aretz:

He’s in critical condition, anesthetized and on a ventilator and undergoing imaging tests,” She described Anderson’s condition as life-threatening.

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack told Ynet:

… 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.

There was really no reason to fire at them. The Dutch girl standing next to him was not hurt. It only injured him, like a bullet.

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