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Israel To Investigate IDF Shooting of Tom Hurndall

IOF Shot Hurndall While Protecting a Palestinian Child, UK Angered by Israeli Shallow Investigation

TEL AVIV - - After months of delays and postponing, the Israeli military Attorney General, General Menachem Finkelstein, has finally agreed to open an investigation in the critical wounding of a British peace activist by the Israeli forces in the city of Rafah last April, Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper said.


Tom Hurndall (22) shot by Israeli soldiers while trying to protect Palestinian children.

The family of Tom Hurndall, 22, from the British city of Manchester, has insisted on opening an investigation regarding the reasons that led to the shooting of their son while peacefully participating in a demonstration in Rafah. Tom was shot in the head and admitted to a hospital, and is currently laying in deep coma, or clinically speaking, in a state of clinical death.

According to the statements of Hurndall's colleagues in the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Tom arrived to the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, among a group of ISM activists aiming to help the Palestinian citizens in this battered city, and face the occupation forces using non-violent methods. While peacefully demonstrating near an Israeli checkpoint, IOF troops opened heavy fire at the crowd, which made Hurndall hold a Palestinian child to his body to protect him from the gunfire. An Israeli sniper bullet penetrated Hurndall's head, leaving him in a state of coma.


Tom Hurndall (22)

The family of Tom is now going through the legal procedures to shut down the life support systems that has been keeping him alive for six months now, saying that there was no hope in Tom's recovery, and holding the Israeli forces responsible for his death.

As for the investigation, which was also backed by the British government, considering that Hurndall was the second British citizens shot with Israeli fire in the Palestinian territories, after James Miller, a cameraman working for HBO network, who was shot dead on May 2 in the city of Rafah as well, an Israeli military delegation delivered the documents and results of the investigation to the British military attaché, who tore the documents apart and destroyed the attached videotape, protesting the superficial and twisted way the Israeli military commanders conducted the investigation.

It seemed that the investigation was carried out by the same unit whose members shot Hurndall, and that the theory of the investigation was based on wrong and distorted facts that depended on an angel of view that was not satisfactory to observe the shooting, Ha'aretz Israeli newspaper website said.

The British military attaché shouted at the delegation, accusing them of being prejudice and shallow in their investigation, saying that "this investigation is childish and doesn't contain anything serious."

On its side, the Hurndall family said that they did not trust the Israeli investigation. In a telephone call with Tom's sister, Sophie, she said "the Israeli record in violating human rights and investigating these rights does not fill us with hope that Tom's shooters would be found and punished. We don't trust that the sniper who shot Tom would be found and punished through a military investigation." She also remarked that many international and human rights organizations view the Israeli military judicial system and investigation as "untrustworthy and horrible".

The family has taken things into their own hands, by personally investigating their son's shooting. Nearly 13 eyewitness accounts, photos conclusively confirming that an Israeli sniper shot Hurndall while trying to protect a Palestinian child from the Israeli gunfire.

Sophie asserted that the Hurndall family was currently consulting with legal advisors in the United Kingdom about legal actions, right after the results of the "unbiased" Israeli military investigation had been declared.

The results of that "unbiased" investigation has concluded that Hurndall was shot by "Palestinian militants", not by Israeli soldiers, the same conclusion in the case of James Miller, which was later found as false by an independent judicial investigation panel.

The "B'Tselem" human rights organization in Israel has demanded the Israeli supreme court of issuing a law compelling the attorney general's office (not the military one) of conducting a serious and in-depth investigation of every killing of innocent Palestinian civilians, saying that by not doing so, the Israeli courts and judicial system send out a very dangerous message to the Israeli soldiers, that they are allowed to kill Palestinians with no questions asked.

According to Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper electronic edition, more than 2,000 Palestinian women, children and elderly people who never took place in any resistance actions or even demonstrations, were shot dead by the Israeli occupying forces.

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