It is with great sadness that If Americans Knew shares with you the news of the passing away of Tom Hurndall.
Tom, 22, died Tuesday night in a London hospital due to complications with pneumonia. He had spent the past nine months in a vegetative state after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper on April 11, 2003, while trying to escort children to safety in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine.
Tom was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led effort to bring internationals to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to aid the civilian population in non-violent resistance to the occupation.
At a hearing on Monday, a soldier arrested last week in connection with the shooting of Tom Hurndall, has finally been indicted on six charges : Aggravated Assault; two counts of Obstruction of Justice; Incitement to False Testimony; False Testimony; and Improper Conduct. A second soldier has been detained and is expected to be indicted on charges of Obstructing Justice and False Testimony.
As we grieve the death of Tom, let us not forget the ongoing catastrophic situation in Palestine that he was working to end. In fact, since he was shot, 407 Palestinians have been murdered and 1,990 have been injured. As Tom’s mother, Jocelyn, wrote recently in the UK Guardian, “It seems that life is cheap in the occupied territories. Different value attached to life depends on whether the victim happens to be Israeli, international or Palestinian.”
We ask that you write letters to the editor of your local newspaper regarding this incident. If your paper covered it, please thank them and ask them to report more on the plight of the Palestinian people. If your paper did not cover it, admonish them for it and demand to know why they consider Tom’s life, like so many in Palestine, unworthy of mention in their pages. Remember, as always, polite, concise, and to-the-point letters are more likely to be published.
For more information regarding Tom, please visit http://www.tomhurndall.co.uk/.