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To no-one's surprise the Israeli courts whitewashed the death of Rachel Corrie this week. Rachel was killed in Gaza in 2003 defending Palestinian homes against the Israeli Defence Force's D9 armoured bulldozers.
The verdict came at the end of two and half years of legal proceedings initiated by Rachel's parents Cindy and Craig Corrie. They had pursued a civil case against the Israeli Defence Force for damages. By suing for the nominal amount of $1 (U.S) they were able to expose evidence not previoulsy made public.
Judge Oded Gershon flatly contradicted eyewitness testimony by saying that there was no way that the the bulldozer driver could have seen Rachel. In case that wasn't enough his 62 page judgement claimed that the area was a 'closed military zone' and that the activists had put their lives at risk by even being there (ignoring the thousands who are forced to live there by virtue of being Palestinian). For an encore he went on to claim that the initial IDF investigation, which consisted only of interviews with Israeli soldiers, and was even criticized by the US ambassador at the time as 'flawed', was in fact entirely transparent and credible.
The IDFs story has changed several times since the initial report on the incident which claimed that Rachel was accidentally struck by rubble.
SchNEWS spoke to one of the International Solidarity Movement activists who was with Rachel when she was killed...
“When Rachel died in 2003, the second intifada was in full-swing and the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq was only two days away. What she and the other international activists with the ISM were doing in Rafah was living on the front-line of a conflict that had claimed hundreds of Palestinian lives in the Gaza strip. Rafah is a town severed in two, a densely populated area with a 200 meter wide no-mans land literally bulldozed through the centre. All structures, houses, workplaces everything were reduced to rubble to provide a free-fire zone for the Israeli military.
The bulldozers would appear, protected by tanks, and start knocking things down. Just days before we arrived on the scene of a demolished house with the family trying to retrieve their possessions. We slept overnight in houses that were delibrately targetted with gunfire in an effort to drive the inhabitants out. Even the water-tanks on the roof s were shot at to deprive the inhabitants of fresh water
This was why we were confronting the two D9 bulldozers and their tank escort on 17th March 2003. We don't know what their mission was but they had no right to be there at all. We were there protesting and obstructing their work for over two hours – of course they knew we were there – we were wearing hi-vis jackets and shouting at them over megaphones. We were interacting with them – they were shouting at us and firing tear gas.
Rachel's death came suddenley – a bulldozer approached Samir Nasrullah's house. Samir was well-known to the ISM and many activists had stayed in his house. Rachel moved in front of the D9 and began to climb the pile of earth pushed up by the blade. On top of the pile she was looking directly into the bulldozer's cabin. The driver cannot have failed to see her. Moments later she was engulfed by the earth which caused her death”
Of course government whitewashes of crimes committed by troops are universal – Israel hardly stands out in this regard – for example only one British soldier has been convicted of abusing Iraqi prisoners during the entire occupation. In that light Judge Gershon's verdict was utterly predictable.
Rachel's parents have vowed to continue the legal fight and will be appealing to Israel's Supreme Court.
For more The Rachel Corrie Foundation http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/
'Ground the Drones' demo to take place in Lincoln this Saturday as UK expands armed drone programme - and international resistance to the Drone Wars amps up.
UK ISM activist expecting imminent deportation after arrest by Israeli military
Despite reports from pro-Israel newspapers to the contrary, race war is not about to break out in front of Brighton's crappiest fizzy drinks seller.
Known by many as the "godfather of Israeli anarchism", author, activist and radical anti-zionist troublemaker Akiva “Aki” Orr, had pursued a radical vision for a democratic one state solution in Palestine and Israel for over 50 years.
Burin is one of a group of small Palestinian villages near Nablus in the Occupied West Bank. Burin has been having a lot of problems off the local settlers, especially one settlement in particular: Yitzhar, which currently holds the distinction of being the most violent settlement in the West Bank.
State services and employees crippled by Israel's refusal to hand over Palestinian taxes.
As a pro-Palestine speech to Hackney Council is banned, who are UK Lawyers for Israel and what other campaigns have they been waging to silence and criminalise Palestine solidarity activism?
Israeli forces have begun a massive terror campaign against the Gaza Strip