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Gaza activist's killing was murder
A British peace activist who was shot in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli army marksman was murdered, an inquest in London has found.
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2006 19:03 GMT
Tom Hurndall went to Palestine to highlight their cause
A British peace activist who was shot in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli army marksman was murdered, an inquest in London has found.

Tom Hurndall, 22, was fatally wounded on April 11, 2003 after  going to the Rafah refugee camp near the Egyptian border as a human shield with the International Solidarity Movement.
  
He died in hospital in London in January 2004 after spending nine months in a persistent vegetative state.

The 10-member panel, sitting at St Pancras Coroner's Court,  London, said Hurndall "was shot intentionally with the intention of killing him".
  
"The jury would like to express its dismay with the lack of  co-operation from the Israeli authorities," a statement said.

The verdict comes after an identical ruling by a jury at the  same court last Thursday on James Miller, who was also killed in Rafah, in May 2003, as he made a documentary about the Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes.

Murder conclusion

[Hurndall] "was shot intentionally with the intention of killing him"

St Pancras Coroner's Court jury

Returning their verdict of unlawful killing on the cameraman, whose subsequent film "Death In Gaza" won three Emmy awards, the jury said: "We can come to no other conclusion than that Mr Miller was indeed murdered."
  
Taysir Wahid, an Israeli army sergeant of Bedioun Arab origin, was convicted of manslaughter at a military court last June.

But Hurndall's parents, Anthony and Jocelyn, said after the verdict that Israeli officers higher up the chain of command were implicated and called on the British government to fulfil its obligations to protect its citizens.
   
War crime

British inquests have found the
Israelis to be uncooperative

Anthony Hurndall said: "If there's a wilful killing, that in itself is a serious war crime under the Geneva Convention. Anyone responsible ...is guilty of a war crime and by their responsibility they should be  prosecuted." 
   
Michael Mansfield, the family lawyer, told reporters that if the Israeli government was not willing to bring all the perpetrators to justice there, then Britain should try to do on its soil.
  
He said the verdict vindicated the Hurndalls' "harrowing  struggle in the search for the truth".

"Make no mistake about it: the Israeli Defence Force has today been found culpable by this jury of murder," he said.
  
Pattern

"This is the second case that has been considered by this court within the period of a week and a half ... Mr Miller, who was another British citizen doing his job in Israel, [was] also murdered."
  
Mansfield also criticised attempts by Israel after both  shootings to blame Palestinians, accusing them of a "cover up that lasted for many, many months" and failing to co-operate at any stage of the investigation.
  
Andrew Reid, the coroner told the court that he would write to Lord Goldsmith, Britain's attorney-general, to see if there was any further legal action that could be taken in relation to both men's deaths.
  
Anthony Hurndall said he and his wife had not ruled out bringing private prosecutions against five Israeli officers they believe to be implicated in their son's death.
Source:
AFP
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