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Military police arrest soldier who shot Briton in Rafah

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    Last Update: 01/01/2004 04:29 http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/378227.html Military police arrest soldier who shot Briton in Rafah By Amos Harel, Haaretz
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2004
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      Last Update: 01/01/2004 04:29
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/378227.html
      Military police arrest soldier who shot Briton in Rafah

      By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

      Military police this week arrested and questioned the Israel Defense Forces soldier suspected of
      shooting British civilian Tom Hurndall in Rafah last April.

      Hurndall suffered severe brain damage as a result of the shooting and lies in a vegetative state in
      England. His family has begun proceedings allowing him to eventually be disconnected from
      respiratory and other life-support systems.

      Hurndall, 22, a student from Manchester and a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM),
      was wounded by IDF gunfire directed at Palestinians in the Yabne neighborhood of the Rafah refugee
      camp an April 11, 2003. Other ISM activists on the scene at the time of the incident charged that
      IDF snipers starting shooting at Palestinians - including children - in the street without any
      provocation.

      In England, Hurndall's mother welcomed the arrest and said it must be made clear to Israeli soldiers
      that they were answerable for their actions and could not shoot with impunity.

      The soldier suspected of shooting Hurndall, whose remand the Southern Command military tribunal
      extended Wednesday by seven days, initially claimed that he returned fire after an armed Palestinian
      shot at him. He later "admitted to firing in proximity to an unarmed civilian as a deterrent," said
      a release from the army.

      The IDF has updated the British Embassy in Israel on developments in the case.

      Hurndall's mother Jocelyn welcomed the arrest but said she was still dubious about the outcome of
      the military inquiry. "I remain skeptical... but I'm hopeful," she told Sky news. "I think this is
      the first positive step.

      "We wish the rules of engagement in Israel to be looked at extremely seriously," she said. "We wish
      every Israeli soldier to get the message very clearly that they cannot shoot with impunity, that
      they are answerable for their actions."

      The IDF has previously agreed only to carry out an internal investigation with the soldier's unit,
      the Bedouin patrol battalion.

      The Hurndalls said they had received the findings of the unit inquiry but that the findings
      presented by Israeli military authorities until now indicated a childish and unsubstantial
      investigation.

      The investigation into the circumstances of the incident commenced six months after the shooting, on
      the directive of Judge Advocate General head Major General Menachem Finkelstein.
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