April 10, 2006

Israel boycotts yet another UK inquest

From the Guardian, Israel is going to boycott the inquest into the death of Tom Hurndall.
Israel will boycott an inquest opening today in London which will investigate the death of a British peace activist shot dead in broad daylight by an Israeli soldier.

Tom Hurndall, 22, died after being shot in Rafah, Gaza, while trying to lead Palestinian children to safety after the soldier opened fire from a nearby observation tower in April 2003.

His mother, Jocelyn, told the Guardian she is angry Israel is not cooperating as she still has many questions about how her son came to be shot: "We are hoping the coroner will address the culture of impunity in which the soldier was functioning and the enormous lack of cooperation we have experienced from the Israelis."

Mrs Hurndall said that only when the family went to Israel and for seven weeks pressured the authorities and raised the case in the media did any sort of investigation begin.

Her solicitor, Imran Khan, said Israel's boycott of the inquest is disrespectful: "It shows their disdain for the whole process."

Mr Hurndall was one of three British civilians killed, allegedly deliberately, within seven months by Israeli forces. In all three cases Israel claimed the Britons were killed after their troops came under fire. In two cases the claims were not accepted at inquests.

Ian Hook was killed in November 2002 and in December last year an inquest jury ruled that he had been unlawfully killed and the victim of a "deliberate killing". The UN said that Hook, 50, who led a house reconstruction programme in Jenin camp, was sitting in his office when he was hit by several bullets.
But what's the UK government doing about this?

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