From: Michael Shaik
Date sent: Sun, 06 Apr 2003
Subject: American Peace Activist Shot by Israeli Tank
Today at about 6.30 pm Brian Avery, 24, of New Mexico was shot in the face by a burst of
machine gun fire from an Israeli Armoured Personnel Carrier. The circumstances surrounding
his injury are as follows:
Today the Israeli army of occupation operating in the Jenin area imposed its second day of
curfew on the people of the city. Groups of young men and boys continued their resistance to
the curfew by venturing out onto the streets to throw stones at tanks and other military
At about 6.30 pm Brian and another ISM activist were at the ISMís Jenin headquarters when
they heard the sound of gunfire coming from the centre of the city, about two blocks away.
They left the apartment to investigate and had traveled about a hundred metres when they
arrived at a major crossroad and saw two armoured personnel carriers advancing towards
them at low speed. There were no Palestinians on the streets in the area, armed or otherwise.
At the sight of the armoured vehicles both activists stood still and raised their hands above
When the first armoured personnel carrier was 50 metres from them it fired a burst of machine
gun fire (an estimated 15 rounds) at the ground in front of them so that they were sprayed by
a shower of broken bullets and stones. Tobias, Brianís companion, leapt aside. He had fled
about three steps when he looked back to see Brian lying face down on the road in a pool of
Tobias and Brian were then joined by four other ISM activists who had arrived at the scene of
the shooting by a different route. All six of them rushed to help him as the two armoured
vehicles rolled past without stopping. He was conscious but when he raised himself from the
ground they saw that his left cheek has been almost totally shot off.
The activists then performed first aid on him and phoned for an ambulance which took him to
the Martyr Doctor Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin where he was treated for shrapnel wounds
to his face including bone fractures below the eyes, lacerations of the tongue and lacerations
of his left cheek. A specialist was called in to examine his injuries and recommended that he
be transferred immediately to a hospital in Afula in Israel but his departure was delayed
because the Israeli military refused to grant his ambulance safe passage for more than an hour.
>From Afula Brian was transported to a hospital in Haifa by helicopter.
Under the Israeli Armyís own rules of engagement soldiers are not permitted to fire warning
shots with mounted weapons. They may fire warning shots with light hand held weapons and
must aim away from the people they are warning
When he was shot Brian was wearing a fluorescent red vest with a reflective white cross on
its back and front.