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Last Updated:  Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Shot activist's family fly to Israel
Thomas Hurndall before being injured
Mr Hurndall was shot at near an army checkpoint
The family of a UK peace campaigner who was shot by Israeli troops in the Gaza strip are flying out to be at his bedside.

Tom Hurndall, who lives in Manchester, was hit while trying to protect women and children, according to his campaign group, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Mr Hurndall, who is being kept alive by a ventilator, was working with the group in the town of Rafah when he was apparently shot by a sniper using high calibre bullets.

The Soroka Hospital, in Beer Sheva, Israel, said he was unconscious but stable and due to undergo surgery on Saturday.

The 22-year-old is originally from Tufnell Park, London, and is a photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The bullet went through his head. There is severe damage and bleeding in the brain and he is unconscious
Mr Hurndall's mother, Jocelyn
His mother, Jocelyn, said that her husband Anthony and one of her sons were travelling out to be with him.

His girlfriend Michelle, who is also an ISM member, is believed to be by his bedside.

Mrs Hurndall said she had spoken to the Israeli doctor treating her son after he was transferred by helicopter from Khan Younis.

She said: "He is still in a critical condition with a severe head wound.

"The bullet went through his head. There is severe damage and bleeding in the brain and he is unconscious.

Map showing Rafah in Gaza

Tom Wallace, of the ISM, said Mr Hurndall was shot at a checkpoint after gunfire had prompted his group of nine activists to abandon their protest.

He added: "The activists and all the women and kids decided to move away from the area.

"They were moving very slowly, and he was standing in front of the women and kids to protect them while they were moving.

"They were trying to evacuate the area and that is when he was shot."

The Foreign Office in London said consulate officials in the UK and Jerusalem were assisting Mr Hurndall's family.


SEE ALSO:
Israeli troops 'wound Briton'
11 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Activist who died for conviction
17 Mar 03  |  Middle East


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