Israeli soldier found guilty of shooting British peace activist

 A former Israeli soldier has been found guilty of the manslaughter of British student, Tom Hurndall in the Gaza Strip. A military court in Ashkelon yesterday convicted ex-sergeant Taysir Hay of the killing in April 2003. He will be sentenced at a later date. Tom was shot in the head as he escorted two Palestinian children across a road in Rafah. He fell into a coma and died nine months later. More than 50 people crowded into the courtroom to hear the verdict, which took more than an hour to read out. In addition to the manslaughter verdict, Hayb was found guilty of obstruction of justice, incitement to false testimony, false testimony and improper conduct. The court was told Hayb fired at Mr Hurndall from an Israeli army watchtower, using a sniper rifle with a telescopic sight. The Israeli army initially disputed this account, but under pressure from Mr Hurndall's family and the British government it ordered a full investigation. It later indicted Hayb, a member of Israel's Bedouin Arab minority. Tom Hurndall, from north London, was a photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University. He was in Israel as a peace volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). A memorial service was held for him at Westminster Cathedral in March last year. Mr Hurndall's father, said the guilty verdict was the right one, but he expressed concern about the number of civilians killed by the Israeli army in Gaza. Civil liberties group Human Rights Watch last week accused Israel of investigating less than 5% of hundreds of cases of Palestinians killed since 2000. Israeli authorities said there was no policy of tolerating the shooting of civilians.

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