Israel court orders inquest into US activist's shooting

Israel's supreme court Wednesday ordered a new investigation into the shooting and wounding by Israeli security forces of an American activist as he protested against the West Bank separation barrier in 2009, judicial sources said.

The court gave the state and the police four months to investigate the type of munitions used by Israeli forces in the incident and the distance they were fired from.

Anderson's family filed an appeal with the supreme court after Israeli authorities closed the case in February 2010, saying that there was "no proof of criminal behaviour on the part of the police".

A tear gas canister hit Anderson in the head during a demonstration against the West Bank separation barrier on March 13, 2009 in the Palestinian village of Nilin.

He suffered serious brain damage that left him partially paralysed.

His parents and their lawyers welcomed the ruling, saying that the police investigation had been marred by "negligence".

The neighbouring villages of Bilin and Nilin, near Ramallah, host demonstrations every week against the separation barrier, which Israel says is intended to prevent attacks, and which Palestinians have named the "apartheid wall".

The International Court of Justice ruled on July 9, 2004 that the construction of the wall was illegal and demanded it be dismantled, as has the United Nations General Assembly.

The wall's proposed route will cover 712 kilometres (442 miles), of which nearly two thirds is incomplete and 85 percent of which lies inside the West Bank, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report published on the ninth anniversary of the ICJ ruling.

The document said the barrier will isolate 9.4 percent of the West Bank, including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

mab-jlr/tl/kir