US asks Israel to probe case of girl who lost eye to tear gas canister

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, June 7, 2010 22:15 EDT
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Washington has asked Israel to investigate an incident where a US student lost an eye after she was hit by an Israeli tear-gas canister during a West Bank protest, the US embassy said on Monday.

Emily Henochowicz, 21, was apparently hit in the face by a tear-gas canister fired by border police during a protest near the West Bank city of Ramallah over Israel’s use of force against a Gaza-bound aid ship.

The US embassy in Tel Aviv passed on a request to the Israeli foreign ministry asking that Israel investigate the incident, embassy spokesman Kurt Hoyer told AFP.

“When American citizens are injured we tend to want to know what happened,” Hoyer said, adding that the request was “normal procedure.”

The foreign ministry said it was awaiting a formal request.

The incident occurred as Henochowicz and other foreigners were taking part in a protest last Monday against Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship which killed nine Turkish activists.

Witnesses at the Ramallah protest accused the border guards of deliberately firing tear-gas canisters at the demonstrators.

“They clearly saw that we were internationals and it really looked as though they were trying to hit us,” the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement quoted activist Soren Johanssen as saying.

“They fired many canisters at us in rapid succession. One landed on either side of Emily, then the third one hit her in the face,” he said.

At the time of the incident the army denied canisters had been fired directly at the protesters, claiming the student must have been hit by a projectile that ricocheted off a wall.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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