court orders that investigation into tristan anderson’s injuries at a west bank protest be reopened

by Tim Phillips

On March 13, 2009, Tristan Anderson attended a protest in a West Bank village against Israel’s apartheid wall. As the protest was winding down and Anderson was taking photographs and talking with people, an Israeli Border Police soldier shot him in the head with a high-velocity metal tear-gas canister. Israeli forces then delayed his ambulance at a checkpoint. Anderson suffered brain damage, partial paralysis, and blindness in one eye. According to a December 2011 Los Angeles Times article,

Leaders of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that the type of tear-gas canister that struck Anderson was particularly dangerous and was phased out by the Israeli military after injuries and fatalities … , including the 2009 death of Palestinian activist Bassam Abu Rahme, who was struck in the chest by the same kind of projectile.

An Israeli investigation concluded that the soldier possessed no criminal intent. Two appeals led to supplemental work on the case, but it was closed again as of February 2012. No charges were filed.

Today, in response to a petition submitted by Anderson’s parents, Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered that the investigation into the incident be reopened. Anderson and his parents are also pressing the Israeli government to pay for his rehabilitation and 24-hour care in a civil lawsuit.