Injured US activist case closed

Tristan Anderson was critically hurt during West Bank protest last March.

January 31, 2010 21:13
1 minute read.
A protest in the West Bank village of Bil'in.

bil'in protest 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Justice Ministry declared Sunday that no indictments will be filed against police in the case of a US activist who was hit by a tear gas canister and left comatose during a violent demonstration in the West Bank last year.

Tristan Anderson, 38, of Oakland, California, was critically injured during a Palestinian protest in the West Bank village of Nil'in last March. Amir Moran, spokesman for Tel Hashomer hospital, where Anderson is being treated, said his condition "has not changed."

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Justice Ministry spokesman Ron Roman said the investigation determined there was no criminal intent in harming Anderson. The investigation was opened in May and closed several weeks ago, but results were made public only Sunday.

Human rights groups charge Anderson's case highlights a culture of impunity toward Israeli forces, because incidents of harm against Palestinians and their supporters are rarely investigated and few reach prosecution.

"The number of civilians harmed and injured and then the number of investigations — a small minority of cases, and a tiny number of prosecutions — point to a very, very clear picture of impunity," said Sarit Michaeli of rights group B'Tselem.

There were around 400 protesters at the demonstration where Anderson was injured, the IDF said at the time. Some of them threw rocks at troops, who used riot gear to quell the unrest, the army added, without elaborating.

Anderson's family was not immediately available for comment.

Israel has said its forces were responding to attacks by violent demonstrators who were ignoring an order declaring the area an off-limits closed military zone. Such clashes are a weekly Friday event in several places along the Israeli separation barrier, as Palestinians and their backers gather to confront IDF troops.

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