JERUSALEM -- Israel's High Court of Justice has ordered the state to reopen the investigation into a 2009 incident that critically injured an Oakland man, cracking his skull and leaving him with permanent brain damage.
Tristan Anderson was a 38-year-old activist and photographer at the time, visiting Israel and the West Bank to view the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians up close and participate in pro-Palestinian demonstrations. He was documenting weekly protests against Israel's construction of the separation barrier.
In March 2009, the California activist was hit in the head with a tear gas canister fired by Israeli border police trying to disperse a Palestinian demonstration in the West Bank town of Nilin.
The high-velocity metal canister, potentially fired from close range against regulations, fractured Anderson's skull and caused traumatic brain injuries. After months of surgery in Israel, he returned home to Oakland where he remains permanently impaired.
Wednesday's court decision came in response to a petition by his parents, Nancy and Michael Anderson, filed through Yesh Din, an Israeli advocacy group of volunteers for human rights.
Israeli authorities had investigated the incident in 2009 and closed the case after finding no criminal responsibility on the part of security forces. Two further appeals produced some additional inquiries but the case was closed again last year.
The Andersons petitioned once more, maintaining the Israeli investigation contained serious flaws, including interviewing the wrong soldiers and failing to visit the scene. Attorneys representing the family called it "extreme negligence."