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 'My son lived a worthwhile life' 'In April 2003, cardura free sample 21-year old British peace activist Tom Hurndall was shot in the head in Gaza by an Israeli soldier as he tried to save the lives of three small children. Cardura free sample Nine months later, cardura free sample he died, cardura free sample having never recovered consciousness. Emine Saner talks to his mother Jocelyn about her grief, cardura free sample her fight to make the Israeli army accountable for his death and the book she has written in his memory. 'In April 2003, cardura free sample 21-year old British peace activist Tom Hurndall was shot in the head in Gaza by an Israeli soldier as he tried to save the lives of three small children. Cardura free sample Nine months later, cardura free sample he died, cardura free sample having never recovered consciousness. Cardura free sample Emine Saner talks to his mother Jocelyn about her grief, cardura free sample her fight to make the Israeli army accountable for his death and the book she has written in his memory. It is one of the poignancies of Tom Hurndall's short life that he had gone to Gaza in search of a story, cardura free sample and ended up becoming it. Cardura free sample A 21-year-old photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University, cardura free sample he went to Baghdad in February 2003 to photograph human shields, cardura free sample activists who were trying to protect ordinary Iraqis from the threat of Anglo-American attack. Cardura free sample While he was there he heard about Rachel Corrie, cardura free sample a 23-year-old American peace activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), cardura free sample who had been protecting a Palestinian's family's house in Rafah, cardura free sample in the southern Gaza strip, cardura free sample when an Israeli bulldozer crushed her to death. Cardura free sample Tom went to Gaza to find out what had happened. All that is clear from the book his mother, cardura free sample Jocelyn, cardura free sample has written about Tom's life, cardura free sample and about his family's battle to bring the Israeli army to account for killing him. Cardura free sample It's not a political book, cardura free sample she stresses, cardura free sample though the anger, cardura free sample frustration and disappointment she feels towards the army, cardura free sample and the Israeli and British governments, cardura free sample is obvious. Tom was in Rafah, cardura free sample in the Israeli-occupied Gaza strip, cardura free sample on April 11, cardura free sample at an ISM demonstration. Cardura free sample Suddenly low shots were fired from an Israeli army watchtower in the direction of children playing on a mound of rubble. Cardura free sample Most of them ran - but three froze. Cardura free sample Tom, cardura free sample wearing a bright orange ISM jacket, cardura free sample ran to help them. Cardura free sample He scooped up a boy and carried him to safety. Cardura free sample He ran back for the two girls, cardura free sample bent down to put his arm round one of them and was shot in the head. Jocelyn was at work, cardura free sample at a school in London where she was head of learning support, cardura free sample when she got a call from her daughter Sophie saying that Tom had been shot. Cardura free sample It was the last day of the spring term. Cardura free sample She calmly finished photocopying a report she had been working on and distributed it into pigeonholes, cardura free sample before setting off for home. Cardura free sample It was as if she was trying to put off discovering the full horror of the story. Cardura free sample "I think you do anything to delay the moment of impact, cardura free sample" she says in the bright sitting room of her north London home. After nearly two months by his hospital bedside in Israel, cardura free sample the family - Hurndall, cardura free sample her former husband, cardura free sample Anthony, cardura free sample and their children Sophie, cardura free sample Billy and Fred - were allowed to bring Tom back to the UK. Cardura free sample The brain injury had left him in a coma; his main organs working, cardura free sample but nothing else. Cardura free sample Did she accept that Tom would die from the start? "I think I knew, cardura free sample" she says. Cardura free sample "The pressure in Tom's head had damaged other parts of his brain. Cardura free sample I knew he would never recover." Tom eventually died nine months later on January 13 2004 - Jocelyn's birthday - in hospital in London. Cardura free sample Was it a relief, cardura free sample in a way? "It was, cardura free sample because he wasn't in pain any more, cardura free sample" says Hurndall. Cardura free sample "But it was also impossible when he died." She is silent for a long time. Cardura free sample "I still haven't accepted it." Hurndall is softly spoken with gentle, cardura free sample pale blue eyes. Cardura free sample She seems fragile but with an intense strength. Cardura free sample She's a battler but seems surprised by it. Cardura free sample She tells of the time she met Tony Blair at a dinner. Cardura free sample "I remember saying to him, cardura free sample 'You've hurt me'. Cardura free sample I couldn't imagine saying that to anybody five years ago." She laughs at this. Cardura free sample "This middle-class mother coming out with these strident things." Tom's death has changed her. Cardura free sample "You develop this language when there's this anger. Cardura free sample I'm not usually a strident person, cardura free sample I've never needed to be." Her book is called Defy the Stars, cardura free sample words Tom had tattooed on his wrist. Cardura free sample They come from Romeo's cry "Then I defy you, cardura free sample stars!" in Romeo and Juliet, cardura free sample and seemed to say a lot about his attitude to life. Cardura free sample Hurndall says she finds herself carrying her book around the house, cardura free sample "because it's what's left of Tom. Cardura free sample It's my gift to Tom, cardura free sample it's my gift from Tom." More at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/mar/26/israel