An Israeli court has upheld the investigation by a military court that said well-known American activist Rachel Corrie was killed accidentally by an army bulldozer and not otherwise as alleged by her family.
The judge’s ruling comes nine years after Corrie’s family filed a civil lawsuit challenging the military’s investigation that had exonerated Israeli troops of any wrongdoing.
Corrie had been crushed to death by a military bulldozer on March 16, 2003, during a protest against demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza. The driver of the vehicle, whose name has never been revealed, claimed he did not see the activist — an assertion that witnesses dispute as Corrie was wearing a highly visible orange jacket and was directly in the line of sight of the driver. “Rachel Corrie was not run over by an engineering vehicle but rather was struck by a hard object, most probably a slab of concrete which was moved or slid down while the mound of earth which she was standing behind was moved,” a report of the Israel defence forces had said earlier. Corrie was a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement, and was part of a group of eight American and British activists, who were attempting to prevent the demolition at the Gaza-Egypt border.
Following the investigation, Corrie’s family approached the civil court, which on Tuesday endorsed the findings of the military’s in-house probe. It further ruled that the death was neither intentional nor the result of negligence.
Addressing a news conference after the verdict had been delivered, the activist’s mother, Cindy Corrie, despite the disappointment spiritedly asserted: “From the beginning it was clear to us that there was... a well-heeled system to protect the Israeli military, the soldiers who conduct actions in that military, to provide them with impunity at the cost of all the civilians who are impacted by what they do.” She added: “I believe this is a bad day not only for our family, but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel.”