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British Peace Activist Shot By IDF in Gaza Dies in London Hospital

StoryJanuary 14, 2004
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British peace activist Tom Hurndall died at the age of 22 after spending eight months in a vegetative state. Charges of aggravated assault were recently filed against the Israeli soldier who shot Hurndall in the head in April. [includes transcript]

In London, the 22-year-old British peace activist Tom Hurndall died last night. In April, Hurndall was shot in the head by Israel forces. He had spent the last eight months in a vegetative state. Charges of aggravated assault were recently filed against the Israeli soldier who shot Hurndall.

Haaetz is reporting the charges will likely be increased to manslaughter now that Hurndall has died.

Hurndall’s mother said "We hope that prosecution of the soldier involved in the shooting of Tom will send a message to all soldiers in the occupied territories that they cannot commit breaches of human rights whether these be killing, maiming, humiliation, the destruction of homes or the collective punishment of whole communities."

  • Carl Arrindell, Hurndall family spokesperson.

TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We are joined on the phone by Carl Arundel who is a family spokesperson in Britain. Welcome to Democracy Now!

CARL ARRINDELL: I have to say that although the family has been aware that Tom inevitably would die, it was nevertheless a shock when it happened last night. When I spoke with the family this morning, they were exhausted and shaken.

AMY GOODMAN: Right now, the latest news is that the soldier that shot Tom Hurndall, that the Israeli military has identified, the charges will be increased against him. What is your response, the family’s response?

CARL ARRINDELL: The point at the moment, he has been indicted as of Monday, with six counts. The principle charge was aggravated assault. Now, that assumes that the victim is still alive. When the victim dies, ultimately that switches to a charge of manslaughter. Critically, aggravated assault and manslaughter both assume that the soldier had no intention of killing Tom. Now, the family very significantly contests that. The solder intended to hit Tom. He shot Tom using a telescopic lens from a distance of 150 meters and hit him in his forehead with a single shot. There was no cross fire, no return fire. It was his own confession — the armed man. I don’t think you need to have a ballistics degree to understand that that was a shot intended to kill. The family believes this soldier murdered Tom Hurndall. They think the direct indictment is for murder, and that the soldier should be prosecuted for murder.

AMY GOODMAN: Carl Arundel, I want to thank you for being with us. Spokesperson for Tom Hurndall’s family. Tom is a peace activist from Britain who was in the occupied territories and was killed by an Israeli soldier. He has spent the last eight months in a vegetative state. You are listening to Democracy Now.

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