Israel ignores UK family’s call for truth

A British family’s quest for the truth over the shooting of their son is being stonewalled by Israel.

Tom Hurndall was a victim of the brutal Israeli truth in Gaza
Tom Hurndall was a victim of the brutal Israeli truth in Gaza

That is the accusation being laid by the family of peace activist Tom Hurndall who was shot in the head as he tried to rescue a group of terrified children.

They say Israel has continued to ignore their request for justice after an official government report into the shooting of peace activist turned out to be full of glaring inaccuracies.

The 21-year-old was shot at by an Israeli sniper in the city of Rafah, Gaza, while he went to the aid of some stranded children in April.

According to eyewitnesses Israeli soldiers were tormenting the children by firing in their direction.

Hurndall now lies in a vegetative state in a British hospital after suffering severe brain damage. He is not expected to recover and the family are now considering ending life support, according to Tom’s sister whom spoke exclusively to on Sunday.

The family’s repeated quest for a fully transparent inquiry into the shooting has never been met with a response – despite Tom’s parents travelling to Israel in a two-month attempt at getting simple questions answered.

Fabricated report

It has been nearly three months since the results of the family’s own investigation were presented to the Judge Advocate General in Israel.

The family investigation included 13 eyewitness testimonies and a substantial body of photographic evidence completely contradicting the findings of a field report provided by the “Israeli Defence Force” through the British Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Major differences are stark, almost incredible, said Hurndall’s elder sister Sophie. In the report, she says, Israeli occupation forces failed to correctly identify the actual area in which the shooting happened.

The government report also insinuated that Tom himself was dressed in an army uniform, wandering around and shooting at random – when in fact witnesses said he was helping children escape being shot by an Israeli soldier in a settlement watchtower.
Letter of protest

IDF report claimed Tom wasmistaken for a ‘terrorist’

IDF report claimed Tom was
mistaken for a ‘terrorist’

Last Friday, six months to the day of the shooting, Tom’s brother and sister, William and Sophie, presented a letter of protest addressed to the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Zvi Schtauber. He did not accept the letter in person.

The letter expressed the family’s deep distress and disappointment at the lack of progress and government indifference for basic respect for international law.

The Ambassador will be asked to press the relevant authorities in Israel to ensure that there is no further delay in conducting the inquiry.

The distraught family has repeatedly informed the Israeli authorities and the British public of the real reason for the shooting.
“Tom was shot through the head in Rafah by an Israeli sniper in a watchtower who was firing on a group of children. He was shot for the simple reason that he was trying to escort them to safety,” said Sophie.

Searching for truth

Younger brother, Billy, explained why Tom travelled to Gaza in the first place.

“My brother didn’t know anything [about the Palestinian crisis] for sure, so he travelled to Gaza to find the truth.

“He did and he came back a victim of that truth, the truth so barbarically denied by the western media, as men women and children are being slaughtered in Palestine. And I don’t say this because I believe it, but because I have seen it.”

Billy Hurndall travelled to Palestine less than six weeks after his brother was flown home to find out for himself what motivated Tom and hundreds of other peace activists.

“We are told by our media of suicide bombers killing innocent Israelis, and an occasional retaliatory strike against terrorists.

“Do I need to say anything of the actual reality? I hear nothing of the sadistic and unnecessary constant humiliation, violence and regular, effective executions that have taken Palestinian civilians lives in the thousands and injured or crippled many tens of thousands more.”

There was no one available for a comment from the Israeli Embassy in London on Sunday evening.

Source : Al Jazeera

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