Israelis Shoot Peace Activist

Israel Defense Forces troops shot a British peace activist working with the International Solidarity Movement on Friday, witnesses said. Doctors said the Briton was brain dead.

The activist was standing in between IDF troops and a group of Palestinian children when soldiers opened fire, said Khalil Abdullah who works with the Palestinian-backed peace group.

“A group of ISM people were trying to set up a small protest tent alongside a road used by the army. The soldiers opened fire,” said Abdullah, who witnessed the shooting.

The 24-year-old Briton was shot in the head and declared brain dead shortly after arriving at the hospital in Rafah, where the shooting occurred, according to Dr. Ali Musa. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli army. On March 16, American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was killed while trying to stop an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip.

Corrie, a student in Olympia, Washington, was the first member of the group to be killed in 30 months of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. The group claimed the bulldozer ran over her and then backed up. The army denied the claim and said the operator of the armoured bulldozer did not see her.

Last week, Israeli troops in an armoured personnel carrier allegedly shot Bryan Avery, 24, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the face. He had been working in the West Bank city of Jenin. The army said it was firing at gunmen in the area and was not aware it hit Avery.

Activists in the group work in the West Bank and Gaza as human shields, often placing themselves between the Palestinians and the Israelis.