23 March 2009

Israeli Forces Attack Tristan Anderson's Parents Conference~Injure Journalists

Double post on this subject today. Firstly, the parents of American peace activist Tristan Anderson are in Israel calling for the Israeli government to take full responsibility for what happened to Tristan. Tristan, who many not survive, is currently in hospital after having had three operations and part of his skull removed. He has already lost the sight in his right eye and may never wake up from the coma.

If this is not bad enough, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were to give a press conference and speak at a protest today. However, the Israeli forces attacked the gatherers, injuring two journalists and shutting down the press conference before the Andersons could speak. E.g. censoring it by attacking people and closing down the press conference. Israel just seems to have such an aversion to allow the truth to be spoken. Read the two reports below:

Parents of critically injured US peace activist demand justice from Israel

Peace campaigner was struck in head with teargas grenade during demo in occupied West Bank

The parents of an American peace activist who was severely injured by Israeli forces at a demonstration in the occupied West Bank called on the Israeli government today to take "full responsibility" for the shooting.

Tristan Anderson, 38, was hit in the forehead by a high-velocity teargas canister fired by an Israeli border policeman in the village of Nilin earlier this month.
Anderson was rushed to the Tel Hashomer hospital in Israel, where he has already had three operations. He lost the sight in his right eye and doctors had to remove portions of his frontal lobe. It is not clear if he will survive, or how much brain damage he may have suffered.

His parents, Nancy and Michael, who flew out from their home near Sacramento in California to be at his bedside, said he remained in a "very critical condition" in a medically induced coma.

"We are horrified and overwhelmed," said Nancy Anderson. "We are scared and really still in shock. To shoot peaceful demonstrators is really horrifying to us. What we want to ask is that the Israeli government publicly take full responsibility for the shooting of our son."

She said no Israeli official, from either the government or the military, had contacted the couple since their son was hurt. "I don't carry any negative feelings towards the soldier who shot our son," she said. "All I feel is love for Tristan and fear for his recovery."

"Tristan has always been interested in how societies that go through conflict are able to resolve their issues," said his father. "He came to understand for himself what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was about. It is ironic that the country in which he was shot is a democracy where it is supposed to be a duty for everyone to follow their conscience. We want to know the truth of what happened and we want justice for our son."

"For hours before he was shot, Tristan was nowhere near the wall," he said. It is thought he was hit by a high-velocity teargas grenade, a weapon newly being used against West Bank demonstrators. It comes in a black canister labelled in Hebrew "40mm bullet special/long range", and is silent when fired, according to demonstrators. Tristan was hit from a distance of about 60 metres, they said.

Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer acting for the Anderson family, said he had filed an official complaint demanding an independent investigation. He said that evidence from Israeli human rights researchers showed neither the border police nor the barrier itself were under any threat at the time of the shooting.

"The incident took place in the village of Nilin when the protesters came back to the village after a peaceful demonstration," Sfard said. "The policemen involved, both the guy who shot and the officers who gave orders, must take the full might of criminal justice."

More below regarding the violent Israeli attacks on the Anderson's press conference gathering, this is just such a disgrace. Shame on Israel............

Israeli troops shut down press conference with injured American's parents; beat activists

Jerusalem – Ma’an – A woman and journalist were among those beaten by Israeli troops during a press conference held by the parents of critically wounded American peace activist Tristan Anderson Monday afternoon.

Israeli troops detained 11, including Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and Khaled Zabaka, in addition to three foreign activists.

Several journalists reported being prevented from reaching the area, known as the protest tent, in Sheikh Jarrah where the Al-Kurd Family has taken up residence after being evicted from their home.

Israeli forces demanded that the event be shut down, and dozens refused the order, including Sheikh Raed Salah the head of the Islamic party in Israel and Sheikh Ekremah Sabry the religious leader at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli troops then descended on the activists, officials and media personnel and beat PalMedia journalist Hamza Na’agi, activist Abir Abu Khdeir, head of the Jerusalem center for social and economic rights Ziyad Al-Hamury and Salah Thyab a resident of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The latter two were also detained.

The raid, ordered by Israeli Minister of Internal Security Avi Ditchter, came early in the event and prevented Anderson’s parents from addressing the crowd.

And this just in, Tristan's mother asking US to force Israeli investigation:

Mother Of Injured Protester Wants U.S. To Press Israel

(Jerusalem) -- The mother of an American hit in the head when Israeli police fired a teargas canister wants Israel's government to investigate the incident.
Tristan's mother, Nancy Anderson, told reporters in Jerusalem Monday she wants U.S. diplomats to put pressure on Israeli officials to launch a probe into what happened.
She says she has heard nothing from the Israeli government since her son was critically injured.