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Last Updated:  Friday, 11 April, 2003, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Israeli troops 'wound Briton'
Palestinian medical workers (archive)
The victim is at a Palestinian hospital

Israeli forces have reportedly shot and critically wounded a UK peace activist in the Gaza Strip.

Thomas Hurndall, from Greater Manchester, was shot in the head at a refugee camp and rushed to hospital.

Believed to be a member of a Palestinian solidarity movement, Mr Hurndall had apparently been acting as a human shield when troops opened fire.

No immediate comment was forthcoming from the Israeli army.

Friday's shooting is the latest in a series of incidents involving foreign peace activists in the Palestinian territories:

  • On 5 April, a 24-year-old American, Barry Avery, suffered a serious gunshot wound to the face and a Dane, 35-year-old Lasse Schmidt, was wounded in the leg by shrapnel during clashes in the West bank city of Jenin

  • On March 16, American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was run over and killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. The army said its driver had not seen her in time to stop

Missile attack

Israeli attack helicopters fired missiles into the town of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on Friday, injuring at least one person.

A cemetery was hit, but Palestinian sources suggested a house was also a target, and said a total of seven people had been injured, two seriously.

Few details could be gleaned about the Apache helicopter attack on Khan Younis, although the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz said Palestinians had been firing on a nearby Israeli settlement from the targeted house.

Four Palestinians were arrested overnight in a farming village in the area of Netzarim in the Gaza Strip, after houses were searched with dogs. Tanks, bulldozers and jeeps were also present for the raid.

Lull over

Thousands of Palestinians also gathered in Rafah for the funeral of a leader of the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad.

Mohammed al-Zatma was killed on Thursday when Israeli helicopters fired two missiles at his vehicle in Gaza City.

At the funeral, a few hundred armed and masked men demanded vengeance for the killing, in which 12 Palestinians, including three children, were also injured.

There was a brief lull in the Israeli crackdown against Palestinian militants with the beginning of the US-led invasion of Iraq, but operations restarted last week.

Towns have been swept for militants and helicopter gunships have raided refugee camps. This week helicopter strikes killed Mohammed al-Zatma and a senior figure in another militant group, Hamas.


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