Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rachel Corrie death: Family of American activist crushed by bulldozer begins appeal at Israeli Supreme Court

The family of a dead American activist has appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling and hold the army accountable for their daughter’s death.  Rachel Corrie was crushed to death over a decade ago while trying to block an army bulldozer that was preparing to demolish a Palestinian home in the southern town of Rafah. The army frequently razed homes in the area which it claimed militants had used for cover.

The earlier ruling supported the findings of an Israeli military investigation, which determined that the bulldozer operator could not have seen Corrie. The bulldozer was heavily armoured with only small slits for vision. These findings – and the investigation itself – have been disputed by the family and supporters. The Corries have listed multiple concerns, including what they see as a disregard for international humanitarian law and the interpretation that the incident occurred in a war zone and was therefore immune from charges. 

Rachel's intention was to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in Rafah refugee camp.. Scores of homes had already been crushed.. on 16 March 2003 Corrie was one of eight American and British volunteers acting as human shields for local families... she was buried under a pile of earth as she tried to stop an advancing Israeli military bulldozer.. eye-witness accounts suggest little doubt as to what happened. According to Tom Dale, from Staffordshire: "the bulldozer went towards her very slowly, she was fully in clear view, straight in front of them"...According to the Observer, nine Palestinians, including a girl, 4, and 90-year-old man, were killed on the same day...