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Action call on Britons murdered by Israelis.

A coroner has called for urgent action from the Government after a second Briton was found to have been murdered by Israeli forces.

Dr Andrew Reid said he would write to the Attorney General recommending steps be taken to ensure the safety of British citizens in Israel.

He was speaking after an inquest jury returned a verdict that peace activist Tom Hurndall, 22, inset, had been intentionally killed by a soldier in Gaza.

The inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court in London heard that Mr Hurndall, of north London, had been wounded in the head as he tried to move children out of the line of fire in April, 2003, and died nine months later.

Last week Dr Reid presided over an inquest on James Miller, 34, which found he had been murdered by the Israeli Defence Force in Rafa three weeks later.

The Israeli authorities refused to co-operate with either hearing despite allegations from the families that there was a policy at the time that civilians could be shot by soldiers without fear of reprisal.

Murder of a civilian by a soldier is regarded as a war crime under the Geneva Convention and can be tried in British courts regardless of where the death took place.

Mr Hurndall's father, Antony, said bringing private prosecutions against five senior Israeli officers was an option. But asked about the soldier who pulled the trigger, Sergeant Taysir Hayb, convicted in Israel of manslaughter and jailed for eight years, he said: "He's been a scapegoat."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2006
Words:251
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