Israeli Court Says Rachel Corrie was Not Unlawfully Killed
An Israeli court rejected on Tuesday, the 28th of August, accusations of negligence over the 2003 killing of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip.
Corrie’s family filed the lawsuit in the northern Israeli city of Haifa in 2005, accusing Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter and failing to conduct a full and credible investigation.
In a lengthy ruling read out to the court, the judge said the state was not responsible for any “damages caused” as they had occurred during what he termed war-time actions. He called Corrie’s death a “regrettable accident”.
“I reject the suit,” the judge said. “There is no justification to demand the state pay any damages.”
He added that the soldiers had done their utmost to keep people away from the site. “She (Corrie) did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done.”
Corrie’s death made her a symbol of the uprising, and while her family battled through the courts to establish who was responsible for her killing, her story was dramatized on stage in a dozen countries and told in the book “Let Me Stand Alone.”
Senior US officials criticized the original military investigation into the case, saying it had been neither thorough nor credible. But the judge said the inquiry had been appropriate and pinned no blame on the army.
Israel’s far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition, heralded the verdict, calling it “vindication after vilification”.
A spokeswoman for the Corrie family told Ma’an in May that the investigation by Israeli military police into Rachel’s death had been “careless and shoddy,” as well as emotionally taxing for the family.
Israeli soldiers had signed testimonies about the events and then couldn’t remember them in court, Stacy Sullivan told Ma’an, adding that the driver of the bulldozer that killed Rachel did not remember her name in court, or the date of the incident.