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Father of British student killed by Israel urges Tel Aviv to change ‘inhuman’ military tactics

Tom Hurndall (C) was volunteering at a refugee camp in Gaza when he was shot by an Israeli sniper in the Gaza Strip in 2003.

Father of a British student killed by Israeli soldiers has urged the occupying regime to change its “unethical and inhuman” military tactics, warning Tel Aviv that it will lose support from the West by continuing such policies.

Anthony Hurndall, whose 22-year-old son was killed by Israeli snipers in 2004, denounced Israel’s “fundamentally unethical and inhuman attitudes,” in an interview with The Times published on Wednesday.

Tom Hurndall, who was a photography student, a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and an activist against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper in the Gaza Strip in April 2003 and lost his life in January 2004 after spending some nine months in a coma.

He was shot when he was assisting Palestinian children caught in the crossfire in the impoverished Palestinian enclave.

Soroka Hospital’s medical staff initially claimed that the critical injuries to his head were caused by a baseball bat but an investigation later revealed that the staff had removed bullet fragments from Tom’s brain before making up the baseball bat story.

When the fabricated account was refuted, Tel Aviv claimed that the young photographer was allegedly carrying a weapon and was a gunman.  

“The investigation further revealed that, as standard practice,” the Israeli military “routinely falsely misrepresent civilians and children as militants, or as armed, and fabricate accounts of events as a pretext for their killing,” Hurndall, who is director of the Center for Justice, told The Times.

“These claims appear similar to the claims that” the Israeli military is “currently making to justify their bombing, missile and other attacks on civilian targets and hospitals in Gaza. It was the view of those in diplomatic circles, expressed to us at the time, that” the Israeli military “appeared to consider themselves immune from accountability and free to misrepresent innocent civilians as legitimate military targets and to target them, as a form of intimidation or collective punishment,” he added.

Hurndall denounced the narrative portrayed by the media and the governments in the West as “one-sided” that ignores the facts.

“If Israel does not change fundamentally unethical and inhuman attitudes and policies and stop committing war crimes, it will build up even greater resistance from the Palestinian people and lose the sympathy and support of the West,” he stressed.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, over 15,000 Palestinians, including more than 6,000 children, were killed in Israeli strikes, during the 49 days of war. Many more dead are feared to be under the rubble.


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