Israeli police cleared in American protester’s case

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli police officers who fired a tear gas canister that caused American protester Emily Henochowicz to lose an eye were cleared following a police investigation.

The finding of no criminal wrongdoing by the Judea and Samaria district police was announced Sunday.

Henochowicz, a student at Cooper Union in New York who was studying at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy, was hit in the eye on May 31 by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a protest at a Jerusalem roadblock against Israel’s interception of an aid flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish citizens were killed during confrontations between Israeli Navy commandos and pro-Gaza activists on board one of the flotilla’s ships.

Following surgery at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem to remove her damaged eye, Henochowicz returned to the United States for more surgeries and to complete her studies.

Henochowicz’s family, who alleged that the police fired the canister directly at her, filed a complaint with the district police, which is responsible for investigating the operational activity of the Border Police in the West Bank. 

A Border Police internal probe showed that the tear gas canister hit a wall and then Henochowicz, and that she was not targeted.

U.S. citizen Tristan Anderson, 38, lost an eye and suffered brain damage when he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister during a West Bank protest in March 2009.
 

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