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An Israel Defense Forces soldier has been charged with manslaughter in the April shooting of a British activist in the Gaza Strip, the military said yesterday.

The activist, Tom Hurndall, 22, died in a London hospital January 13 after spending nine months in a coma. He was shot in the head while in southern Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian group whose activists volunteer to serve as buffers between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.

The soldier was arrested in December and charged with intent to cause injury. Because Hurndall has died, the charges were upgraded to manslaughter, the military said. The soldier has not been identified.

He is also accused of two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of submitting false information, one count of soliciting the submission of false information, and one count of unbecoming conduct, the military said.

Hurndall was shot in the Rafah refugee camp, where he was photographing the work of the International Solidarity Movement. Witnesses said he was trying to help children out of the path of an Israeli tank when the shot was fired.

Hurndall's mother, Jocelyn, reacted angrily to the Israeli decision, demanding that the soldier be charged with murder. "We find (it) wholly unacceptable," she said.