Israelis pay £1.5m to family of shot film man

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The Independent Online

The family of a film-maker shot by the Israeli army have accepted a settlement said to be worth £1.5m from the country's government.

James Miller, 34, from Braunton, north Devon, died in May 2003 while working on a documentary for the American HBO network about the impact of terrorist action on children.

He was documenting the lives of Palestinian children in a refugee camp in Rafah, Gaza.

Mr Miller's family said that the settlement was the nearest they could get to an admission of guilt from Israel.

They issued a statement through a spokeswoman which said: "The family of British film maker James Miller confirmed today that it accepted a settlement from the Israeli government saying that after five and a half years since his death this is the nearest they are likely to get to an admission of guilt by the Israeli government."

The award-winning cameraman and documentary maker was shot at night by an Israeli soldier despite carrying a white flag.

Mr Miller was trying ask the troops if it was safe to leave the area when he was shot in the neck.

The serviceman who opened fire was cleared of misusing firearms in 2005, but the following year an inquest in the UK found Mr Miller was unlawfully killed.

No details of the settlement were given, although Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported a sum of around £1.5 million was paid to the family.

Mr Miller's death preceded the killing of peace activist Tom Hurndall, who was left in a coma after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier.

The 22-year-old from Tufnell Park, north London, was shepherding children to safety in Rafah when he was hit.

He died at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney, London nine months after being shot.