Democracy Now! had the interview today with a witness to the event, first reported on the ISM site a few days ago. Video of the event has now surfaced so I've included raw footage at the end of the the clip.
American college student Emily Henochowicz, 21, has lost her left eye after being shot in the face by an Israeli tear-gas canister during a protest against the flotilla assault in the occupied West Bank. A talented visual artist whose recent work has been inspired by her experiences in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Emily also suffered considerable facial damage, including fractures to the bone around the eye socket, cheek and jaw. We speak to Israeli peace activist Jonathan Pollak, who witnessed the attack.
Full text of the interview below. I didn't include it but Amy Goodman also asks about the emerging details of the death of 19-year-old American Furkan Dogan, killed during the raid on the flotilla.
(Left)(AP) A Palestinian woman reacts as she holds a cloth to the bleeding face of an American activist who was wounded during clashes with Israeli troops at the Kalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, Monday, May 31, 2010.
(Right) Sheikh Jarrah Swings by Emily Henochowicz
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to turn now from the sea to land, to the West Bank. Juan?
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, an American college student has lost her left eye after being shot in the face by an Israeli tear-gas canister during a protest against the flotilla assault in the occupied West Bank. The student, twenty-one-year-old Emily Henochowicz, is in hospital in Jerusalem, where she’s recovering from two surgeries.
AMY GOODMAN: She is a talented visual artist, a student at Cooper Union here in New York. Her recent work, available online at thirstypixels.blogspot.com, is inspired by her experiences in Israel and the Occupied Territories, where she had been working as an activist for over a month. In addition to losing her eye, Emily suffered considerable facial damage, including fractures to the bone around the eye socket, cheek and jaw.
Jonathan Pollak is an Israeli peace activist who was at the demonstration when Emily was hit in the face by the Israeli tear-gas canister. He’s joining us via Skype from Jaffa.
Jonathan, welcome to Democracy Now! Describe exactly what happened and what day this took place.
JONATHAN POLLAK: Hi.
This took place the same day the flotilla was attacked, the next morning. And with the shock of realizing what happened, a spontaneous demonstration took place near the Qalandia checkpoint south of Ramallah. At its biggest stage, there were maybe about a hundred people there. And at the stage that Emily was hit, there were no more than twenty people. There were clashes, but they were definitely not out of control. There were maybe five youth throwing stones at over twenty border police officers, who were shooting tear-gas projectiles towards them from a very short distance, from a distance of maybe ten to fifteen meters, about thirty feet. And these distances, they don’t have to shoot projectiles; they can throw hand grenades that cause—that only disperse tear gas and cannot cause any damage.
At some point, they started shooting these tear-gas projectiles directly towards demonstrators in all directions. We started moving away. Emily was standing maybe ten meters away from where the clashes were taking place. And in these instances, these projectiles are very accurate. The border police officer that shot her shot her intentionally. She was holding—she was holding a flag and was very clearly not a threat to anyone, when she was shot or at any other stage. The projectile hit her in the face directly and caused the very serious injuries that you described before.