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Archive for March, 2009

U.S. citizens critically hurt at West Bank protest – Haaretz – Israel News.

Tristan Anderson, an American with the International Solidarity Movement, was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister fired by IDF troops.  At the time he was apparently not involved in protest, and was not near people who were behaving violently.

This is from two days ago now, but there are a few aspects of this event that disturbed me.  As pointed out in this article in the Guardian, the IDF has started using a different type of tear gas canister. According to the International Solidarity Movement, this type of tear gas canister does not make a noise when fired, fires at a high velocity, and also does not release a visible smoke trail immediately.

It sounds to me like the soldier probably aimed at Anderson’s head.  Also, considering the specifications of this type of tear-gas canister, it seems that it does not make sense to use except as a weapon.

Correction: I made a mistake in presuming the intent of the soldier, there is no way I can know if he actually was aiming at Anderson.

However, I would like to note that B’Tselem recently put out a new report stating that some soldiers have used tear gas as a weapon, intentionally hitting protesters.

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I have returned from my vacation, and hopefully will be back to writing on a regular basis. Yesterday I went out with some members of Taayush to an activity organized by the Palestinian Christian group, Sabeel. This was my first meeting with Sabeel, and I think it was also their first cooperation with Taayush.

Sabeel was well organized, and had about 30 people with them.  We went to an area northwest of Jerusalem, close to the settlements of Giv’at Ze’ev and Giv’on Hahadasha.

As a group we went to an area of land owned by the Sabri family, who live on the other side of the separation barrier, so they are unable to access their land or to work it.  It is important for Palestinians to have their land worked, because there is a law that allows Israel to seize lands that lie fallow for three years.

Here is a picture of a map that Sabeel provided.  The black and white line is there because the map was made before the barrier in that area was finished, but it is now complete there.

The Map

The Map

We all worked together – Israelis, Palestinians, and internationals – planting olive and almond trees.  It was tiring work, and in the end we planted about 100 trees.

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Part of the group working.  The settlement of Giv’at Ze’ev in the distance.

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