American Tristan Anderson shot by Israeli Defense Forces listen03/13/09 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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An American is in critical condition with life-threatening wounds after being shot in the head today by a member of the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF.
Tristan Anderson, from California, is in a Tel-Aviv hospital after being transported from the village of Naâ€™alin in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank.
WMNF spoke with David Jacobus, who is in the hospital with Anderson.
David Jacobus: â€œWe actually just got word from the surgeons who came out. He has a very high velocity impact in his right forehead. There are bone fragments in the right temporal lobe. Theyâ€™ve tried to remove most of the fragments. Theyâ€™re not sure if thereâ€™s a deeper brain injury, there might be. They wouldnâ€™t say if, you know, heâ€™s going to lose his vision or not but they said that his eye is in really bad shape.
â€œHeâ€™s now being moved to the intensive care unit and heâ€™s on a respirator. Heâ€™s in a life-threatening condition for at least the next few days while they try to control the fluid leakage. Theyâ€™ve only really looked at the surface of the injury that sort of blew a hole in the front of the forehead and theyâ€™re trying to find out if thereâ€™s any deeper injuries.â€
WMNFâ€™s SeÃ¡n Kinane: â€œIf you could tell our listeners what happened â€“ what led up to this injury?â€
David Jacobus: â€œSure, this was at a weekly protest in a village thatâ€™s close to the Apartheid Wall, named Naâ€™alin. And the protest began in the middle of the day, around noon, and it took about three hours. When Tristan was hit, it was about 45 minutes after things had really started to end. There was a movement of the villagers out towards the wall and the army responds with violence. After everyone had retreated to the village, the army continued to the village and started using offensive force in the village.
â€œThere was also a Palestinian shot with live ammunition about 2 meters from me by a sniper who had taken over a house. So this wasnâ€™t really like a repulsive action they were using to defend the wall, which is what the army orders are. It was an offensive, you know, intimidation, violence that moved into the city. I had actually left the village about ten minutes before Tristan was shot because everything had been calm for about 40 minutes and there didnâ€™t seem to be significant military presence. But theyâ€™d started to push in on another side of the village.â€
â€œAnd he was shot with what seems like a new tear gas device thatâ€™s shot from an M-16 at very high velocity. Itâ€™s not supposed to be used under 40 meters; at least thatâ€™s what it says on the shell casings that people have found around. But itâ€™s really only been used quite recently. And itâ€™s just a large missile-like bullet that opens on impact.â€
WMNFâ€™s SeÃ¡n Kinane: â€œAnd according to Haâ€™aretz, the IDF said that the protest violated an injunction issued by a Major General because they were in a closed military zone thatâ€™s off-limits to demonstrators. But it sounds like youâ€™re telling me that Tristan wasnâ€™t in this closed military zone -- that he was in the town?â€
David Jacobus: â€œYeah, the village is actually about a kilometer away from the wall. And the military orders that are issued are within the proximity of the wall. And as I said before, the armyâ€™s own rules allowing this offensive force within the Jerusalem corridor of the wall are to defend the wall from attack. But this is actually part of the militaryâ€™s post-protest follow-up where they invade the village and then harass people and go after them.
â€œThis occurred inside of the village just off the main road, actually. I mean, there were other villagers, just you know, people continued their daily business after the protest had ended. The markets are closed because itâ€™s Friday, but people were making their trips to visit family, and circulating on the street.â€
WMNFâ€™s SeÃ¡n Kinane: â€œDo you know the status of the Palestinian who was injured?â€
David Jacobus: â€œThe Palestinian was shot with a .22 [caliber] live ammunition by a sniper, which they started to use. And it went clean through his leg, so actually Tristan is in a much more grave condition than the Palestinian who had been shot. He was able to make it to a hospital in Ramallah, and I hear heâ€™s doing all right.
â€œBut there were some complications with Tristanâ€™s travel because the Palestinian ambulance is the one that had to take him and it was held up at a check-point where they wouldnâ€™t allow it though. The report is that there were a ten to fifteen minute delay at that checkpoint for him to be transferred to an Israeli ambulance before he was brought into Tel-Aviv.â€
WMNFâ€™s SeÃ¡n Kinane: â€œSo thatâ€™s where you are, youâ€™re in a hospital in Tel-Aviv?â€
David Jacobus: â€œYeah, itâ€™s called Tel Hashomer hospital. Right now thereâ€™s an ophthalmologist looking at the eye. But, I mean, they said it was a pretty serious hit.â€