Brain-dead peace activist’s father demands probe

Peace activist’s father demands probe London | By Mustapha Karkouti | 20/04/2003

The father of Tom Hurndall, a British peace activist in Palestine critically wounded in the head by an Israeli sniper in Gaza last week, is demanding that the British and Israeli governments to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation to establish how his son was shot.

A relative of Hurndall told Gulf News that Anthony Hurndall, a London property lawyer, has travelled with Mrs Hurndall to Israel and both have met the British ambassador in Tel Aviv.

Anthony Hurndall is reported to have said that what he and his wife have seen after arriving in Israel, “indicates that there does not seem to be any justification for what happened.”

“I have an open mind,” he added, “but there seems to have been an element of recklessness. There are questions to be answered.”

In his plea for an investigation, Hurndall said; “Tom was clearly wearing an orange jacket which identified him as a peace activist, and he was nevertheless shot while helping three Palestinian children, who’d been fired on, to safety. I would like to know how it came about.”

Tom Hurndall, a 21-year-old photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University, has been on life supporting machine in Beersheba’s hospital since he was hit. His chances of recovery are said to be slim.

He had arrived in Palestine from Jordan a few days earlier after a short period as a human shield in Iraq.

With nine others members of the International Solidarity Movement with the Palestinians, he was in Rafah attempting to set up a tent to block Israeli tanks and snipers shooting into Rafah’s refugee camp.

The British government is pressing for an investigation, but sources believe the Israeli military might block the process as they have done before in the case of Ian Hook, a British United Nations official, killed by Israel snipers in Jenin last November.