Injured protester's parents visit him in Israel
JERUSALEM - The parents of an American man severely wounded by Israeli troops during a West Bank protest have asked Israeli police to launch an investigation, their lawyer said yesterday.
Tristan Anderson, 38, from Oakland, Calif., was struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired by members of Israel's paramilitary border police in the Palestinian village of Naalin on March 13.
Anderson had joined a protest against Israel's separation barrier, which cuts off Naalin from 300 acres of olive groves. In the past year, four Palestinians were killed in Naalin by Israeli troops quelling weekly stone-throwing protests against the barrier, according to Israeli human rights group B'tselem.
The couple's lawyer, Michael Sfard, said he asked Israel's police to launch an investigation.
The Andersons, of Grass Valley, Calif., held back tears yesterday as they described their son's critical condition. "We don't know if he'll recover, and if he does, we don't know what abilities he will ever regain," his mother, Nancy, told reporters.
His father, Mike, said Israel must "take full responsibility for the shooting of our son."
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Anderson's injury was "an extremely regrettable result of rioting."
The incident is under investigation, the Israeli military has said, though it is not clear if police will investigate separately.
The Israeli military has said there was heavy stone-throwing and troops fired tear gas during the demonstration, though protesters said the stone-throwing was sporadic. Anderson did not throw any stones and was struck after he had returned to the village, witnesses said.
Activists say Israeli troops often use excessive force in dispersing West Bank protests.
The Israeli military says stone-throwing poses a threat to troops. The military said troops used permitted means of riot dispersal.