Parents of Tom Hurndall visit the site of his shooting

Above (Original AP caption): Anthony Hurndall, left, and Jocelyn Hurndall, center, whose son Thomas was shot in the head by Israeli forces during a rally in the southern Israeli town of Rafah April 11, listen to Ralf Cohen, a peace activist in Rafah, right, as he points in the direction of the shooting site Monday, April 14, 2003. Hurndall, age 21, from Manchester, England, had been standing between Israeli troops and Palestinian children when Israeli soldiers opened fire, according to a fellow activist from the International Solidarity Movement who witnessed the scene. (AP Photo Kahlil Hamra). EI Notes: AP oddly puts Rafah as part of Israel.

At 1:00 PM today Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall made their way to Yebna, Rafah where their son Tom was shot on Friday, April 11, by an Israeli sniper. The entourage of two range rovers and a UN vehicle arrived at the ISM apartment where a throng of reporters and photographers awaited their arrival.

There were also ten Palestinian security guards, normally assigned to Yasser Arafat, trying to keep order. Anthony, Jocelyn and several members of the Defense Attache of the British Embassy initially avoided the reporters and the hectic scene in front of the ISM apartment.

Three ISM activists met the group and brought them up to the apartment. They did not allow any reporters into the apartment. In the meeting room of the apartment, they discussed all of the details of the shooting as well as the background that led to the shooting.

Mr Hurndall was interested in the actions of the ISM group in Rafah as well as the Israeli policies that led to those actions.

Alice and Raf explained the ritual of random shooting into houses that is practiced by soldiers in tanks, occupied houses, and the sniper tower. There is one house in particular that is constantly being shot at. The group had decided to maintain a presence in the house indefinitely and put banners all over the house.

In addition, I called the embassies and the IDF to let them know that this house was now inhabited by Internationals. The action never actually happened but the next day the banners were all shot up.

After an hour and a half of this discussion, the embassy personnel thought it was time to move on. They headed back out and toward the site of the shooting. The press followed in two white range rovers and taxis.

Above (Original Reuters caption): Jocelyn, the mother of Tom Hurndall, a British peace activist holds Slamah the Palestinian child whom her son tried to help cross a street when he was hit by Israeli army gunfire at Rafah refugee camp southern Gaza Strip, April 14, 2003. Tom Hurndall was among a group of the international solidarity movement (ISM), which position its activists as ‘Human Shields’ in Gaza and the West Bank. He was hit by Israeli gunfire as he tried to help some Palestinian children to cross a street on Friday at Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, an ISM activist said. (REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

Upon arrival, Jocelyn Hurndall gave an interview to BBC. Anthony was checking very precise details. He wanted to see who was where. He wanted to see the line of fire and the view of the tower. At one point the group walked past the mosque and was heading into an open area. The embassy personnel encouraged all to come back for safety reasons.

It is in front of this mosque that an Israeli tank parks every night and shoots randomly down the street. It was this ritual that inspired the ISM group to want to set up a tent on the site where the tank usually parks. This action also never happened.

At a very poignant moment today, Jocelyn met the little boy that Tom had pulled to safety. She also expressed an interest then in meeting the boy’s mother the next time she comes back.

Their last stop was the hospital where they were shown an X-ray taken the night of the shooting. According to the ISM activist with them at the hospital, they were very grateful for this. The hospital in Beersheva has not shown them any X-rays or CT scans.

For more information contact:
Raf +972-54-389-466

Tom Wallace
ISM Media Coordinator
Beit Sahour, Occupied Palestine


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