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Israeli court to rule on US activist's Rachel Corrie's death

By Layne Weiss     Aug 27, 2012 in World
A court in Israel is expected to give its verdict in the case of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year old American activist who was killed protesting in the Gaza strip in 2003. In 2005, Corrie's family filed a civil suit in Haifa against the state of Israel.
The Corrie family filed the suit on the grounds that Israel "intentionally and unlawfully" killed their daughter, and failed to conduct a thorough and proper investigation, Reuters reports.
Israel's then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had promised US President George W. Bush that Israel would conduct a "thorough, credible, and transparent" investigation into the 23 year old's death.
Rachel was killed trying to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Rafah Refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, BBC News reports. She was an activist for ISM, the International Solidarity Movement.
An investigation by the IDF into Corrie's death concluded that its forces were not to blame.
According to The Guardian, the IDF concluded that the driver of the bulldozer that has been reported to have killed Rachel did not see her. The report concluded that "Rachel Corrie was not run over by an engineering vehicle, but rather struck by a hard object" such as a slab of concrete, which probably slid down and hit her as the earth around her moved.
No charges were ever brought against anyone, and the case was closed. The investigators, did however, say that Rachel Corrie and other activists were engaging in "illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous behavior."
They have argued that the area was a closed military zone, and that the protestors should not have been standing there, BBC News reports.
Witnesses have argued that Corrie was wearing a bright orange vest, and that the bulldozer's driver saw her.
A witness named Tom Dale told The Guardian: "The bulldozer went toward her very very slowly. She was fully in clear view. Straight in front of them."
The bulldozer driver testified in 2010 that he "did not remember" seeing a young woman wearing a bright orange vest on March 16, 2003, the day Rachel was killed, Reuters reports. The man testified behind a screen in order to keep his identity hidden.
A collection of Rachel Corrie's own writings was turned into a play, BBC News reports. My Name Is Rachel Corrie has toured all over the world, even in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
in her final email to her family, Rachel wrote:
"One things I do to make things easier here is to utterly retreat into fantasies that I am in a Hollywood movie or a sitcom starring Michael J. Fox."
Last week, in Israel, Rachel's mother Cindy told The Guardian that the verdict would be a "milestone" in the family's long battle for justice. She said the "lawsuit was only part of it. There has still been no 'thorough, credible, or transparent' investigation into Rachel's death. Whatever happens, this is not the end."
More about rachel corrie death, civil claim, IDF, Gaza strip, Negligence
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