There were prayers yesterday at Our Lady Help of Christians in Kentish Town, North London, for a former parishioner fighting for his life after being shot by Israeli troops on Friday, as he escorted two refugee children across a road in Gaza. Tom Hurndall, 22, a first-year photography student at Manchester University, was a member of the International Solidarity Movement. He was shot in the head and is being kept alive on a ventilator at the Bir Shiva hospital in Jerusalem. His parents have flown to Israel to be at his bedside. Speaking from their home in north London before leaving, Tom's father Anthony said he thought Israeli troops were becoming "deliberately careless" if not "deliberately reckless" in the way they targeted peace demonstrators. Tom is the third foreign peace activist to be seriously injured by security forces in Israel. Last month Rachel Corrie from the US was crushed to death by a bulldozer. Last week another American, Brian Avery was shot in the face in Jenin refugee camp. Tom had been in the country for just five days. His mother Jocelyn said: "He was not primarily political, He just wanted to help people. I can't think of anyone more suited to be a peace campaigner." The International Solidarity Movement is a group of people of all faiths and denominations from around the world who are trying to live in solidarity with people in war zones and refugees. In Israel they have taken part in a number of peaceful actions, including camping around water wells and olive groves in danger of being destroyed, and escorting children to school.
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