Peace activist shot in West Bank
A peace activist is in a serious condition after being shot in the West Bank town of Jenin.
Brian Avery, 24, a member of the International Solidarity Movement is now being treated in a hospital in the Israeli coastal city of Haifa.
Members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) say the activist was shot in the face by Israeli troops in a West Bank refugee camp.
The Israeli army has claimed that the incident happened during a gun battle between its troops and Palestinians and it is unclear who was responsible.
But according to Tobias Karlsson of Sweden, another ISM activist, he, Avery and a Palestinian man went to investigate after hearing shots fired.
Karlsson, 30, said that two Israeli armored personnel carriers turned onto the street where he and Avery were walking. He said they stood under a streetlight with their hands up so that the Israeli soldiers could see them.
"We were standing in the middle of the road so we would be visible," said Karlsson, adding that Avery was wearing a red reflective vest. "We've done this dozens if not hundreds of times."
ISM sends volunteers to help protect Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. The volunteers act as human shields during confrontations with Israeli troops.
Karlsson said the Israeli vehicles moved forward and then began to fire at the ground in front of them, sending stones and dust flying up. He said he took a few steps away and when he turned around, Avery was lying in a
"With such a constant cycle of violence there is much need for international volunteers to provide a peaceful presence in the region and to attempt to stay the well-known violence of the Israeli defence force," Avery told his friends in an e-mail before he left.
Another American member of the International Solidarity Movement was killed on March 16 while trying to stop an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip from demolishing a Palestinian home witnesses said she fell in front of the vehicle, which ran over her and then backed up, witnesses said.
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said it is looking into the shooting.