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