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Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war”

August 18, 2009

18 August 2009: Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war.”
Tristan Anderson, an American national, was critically injured on 13 March 2009 when he was shot with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during an unarmed demonstration against the Wall in the West Bank village of Ni’lin (report and video: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5324).
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has notified the Anderson family’s lawyers that Israel perceives the incident on 13 March 2009 as an “act of war.” This classification was made despite the fact that Anderson’s shooting occurred during a civilian demonstration and there were no armed hostilities during the event or surrounding it.
The consequence of such classification is that according to Israeli law, the state of Israel is not liable for any damage its’ forces have caused.
Israeli police have completed their criminal investigation and passed the file to the district attorney of the Central District of the Israeli prosecution offices. The Anderson’s criminal attorney, Michael Sfard, is awaiting their decision.
According to Michael Sfard,

If a process by which unarmed civilian demonstration is classified by Israel as an ‘act of war,’ then clearly Israel admits that it is at war with civilians. International law identifies the incident as a clear case of human rights abuse. As such, Tristan and his family are undoubtedly entitled to justice and compensation. We will pursue this matter and take the government of Israel to court.

In addition to filing a criminal complaint against the State of Israel for the shooting of their son, the Andersons have submitted a notice of intent to file a civil suit.
Leah Tsemel, the civil suit attorney, stated,

This is another occasion where the Israeli government is alluding responsibility. The demonstrations that take place in Ni’lin and Bil’in are not acts of war. We will pursue, in Israeli courts and international courts if necessary, justice for the Anderson family.

Tristan Anderson was critically injured on 13 March 2009 when he was shot with a high-velocity tear gas projectile by Israeli forces. He was taken to Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv and to date remains in the hospital facilities. Tristan suffered multiple condensed fractures as a result of being hit in the right frontal lobe. He has had several life-saving surgeries and his prospects for recovery are unclear. On 10 August 2009, Tristan underwent another surgery to reattach the top part of his skull, which was removed in order to save his life immediately after his shooting five months ago.
Several eye-witnesses have given testimony that Tristan was shot when he could not have been perceived as any threat to the forces in the area. He was shot from around 60 meters while standing with a few internationals and Palestinians, hours after the demonstration had dispersed from the construction site of the Wall.
read the rest of the release at International Solidarity Movement

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