Emily Henochowicz, a 21-year-old American student, was hit in the eye with a tear gas canister and her eye was removed yesterday. She is an art student at Cooper Union. A witness said, “It really looked like they were trying to hit us.”
Tear gas canisters are commonly used against demonstrators in the occupied West Bank. In May 2009, the Israeli State Attorney’s Office ordered Israeli Police to review its guidelines for dispersing demonstrators, following the death of a demonstrator, Bassem Abu Rahmah from Bil’in village, caused by a high velocity tear-gas projectile. Tear-gas canisters are meant to be used as a means of crowd dispersal, to be shot indirectly at demonstrators and from a distance. However, Israeli forces frequently shoot canisters directly at protesters and are not bound by a particular distance from which they can shoot.