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James Miller - British photographer killed in Rafah Photo: AFP
James Miller - British photographer killed in Rafah Photo: AFP
 
Tom Hurndall Photo: Reuters
Tom Hurndall Photo: Reuters
 
Tzipi Livni Photo: Sebastian Sheiner
Tzipi Livni Photo: Sebastian Sheiner
 
 

UK, Israel discuss Britons shot by troops

Britain's top legal adviser meets Israeli ministers to gather evidence which may lead to prosecution of soldiers in UK over fatal shooting of two Britons in Gaza

Reuters
Published: 05.22.06, 23:18 / Israel News

Britain's top legal adviser met with Israeli ministers Monday to gather evidence which may lead to the prosecution of Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the United Kingdom over the fatal shooting of two Britons in Gaza, a UK government spokesman said on Monday.

 

The victims' families have asked Attorney General Peter Goldsmith to consider whether war crimes charges can be brought under the Geneva Convention.

British Photographer's Death
Soldier gets 8 years for killing Brit / By Hanan Greenberg
Taysir Hayb shot British photographer Tom Hurndall in Gaza two years ago; prosecution wanted 20 years prison sentence; Hurndall's mother: Eight years is really very little if one takes international law into account
Full Story

 

Peace activist Tom Hurndall, 22, was shot in the head by an IDF soldier in Gaza in April 2003 and cameraman James Miller, 34, a father of two, was shot dead weeks later.

 

Goldsmith said he wanted to find out more about both cases before deciding whether to bring prosecutions from Britain.

 

"I need to consider myself whether there ought to be prosecutions here in either of these cases," he said in comments released by a spokesman.

 

"I will carefully consider this without any preconceptions. This is not about raising expectations about whether anything is going to happen one way or another."

 

Goldsmith met with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Justice Minister Haim Ramon and senior legal and defense officials, his spokesman said.

 

An Israel Defense Forces court convicted soldier Taysir Hayb last year of Hurndall's manslaughter. In April, a jury inquest in London found Hurndall had been intentionally killed.

 

'We want attorney general to investigate'

 

A jury at a separate London inquest on Miller's death last month returned a verdict of unlawful killing and concluded that Miller was murdered while making a documentary about Palestinian children caught up in fighting with Israel.

 

Witnesses told the inquest IDF troops shot Miller at close range even though he wore journalist insignia and waved a white flag.

 

The IDF in April 2005 cleared an officer identified only as Lieutenant H. of any wrongdoing in Miller's death, drawing an official protest from the British government.

 

Hurndall's family has called for senior IDF officers to be prosecuted, saying the convicted soldier had been made a scapegoat for IDF policy.

 

"We want the Attorney General to investigate ... what happened and to bring appropriate charges if the Israelis will not," the peace activist's father Anthony Hurndall told the BBC.

 

"It is possible for the Attorney General to have arrest warrants issued so that should any of those responsible travel outside Israel, and within Europe, they can be arrested and brought to this country and prosecuted."

 

Israel has said it does all it can to avoid civilian casualties during clashes with Palestinian militants, and investigates fatalities when criminal wrongdoing is suspected. 

 

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