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Rachel Corrie family finally puts Israel in dock


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Jonathan Cook
Jeudi 11 Mars 2010

Rachel Corrie family finally puts Israel in dock

Court hears how army bulldozer killed peace activist

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
11 March 2010
 
After years of efforts by the Israeli government to deny justice to the family of  US peace campaigner Rachel Corrie, who was murdered by the Israeli army in 2003, the Corries have finally succeeded in bringing the case to court, Jonathan Cook reports.

Seven years after Rachel Corrie, a US peace activist, was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza, her family was to put the Israeli government in the dock today [10 March].
 
A judge in the northern Israeli city of Haifa was due to be presented with evidence that 23-year-old Corrie was killed unlawfully as she stood in the path of the bulldozer, trying to prevent it from demolishing Palestinian homes in Rafah.
"The Israeli government had sought to block the [witnesses] from entering Israel for the hearing but finally relented three weeks ago, when Britain and the US exerted strong pressure."
  Corrie’s parents, Craig and Cindy, who arrived in Israel on Saturday [7 March], said they hoped their civil action would shed new light on their daughter’s killing and finally lead to Israel’s being held responsible for her death. They are also seeking damages that could amount to millions of dollars if the court finds in their favour.
 
An internal army investigation was closed shortly after Corrie’s death, exonerating both the bulldozer driver and the commanders who oversaw the operation.
 

Rachel Corrie family finally puts Israel in dock
Three Britons and one US citizen, who were standing close to Corrie when she was killed, are expected to challenge Israel’s version of events, arguing that the bulldozer driver knew Corrie was there when he ran her over.
 
The Israeli government had sought to block the activists from entering Israel for the hearing but finally relented three weeks ago, when Britain and the US exerted strong pressure.
 
The four, like Corrie, belonged to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which brings activists to Israel to resist the occupation non-violently alongside Palestinians.
 
Cindy Corrie, from Olympia, Washington, said: “My family and I are still searching for justice. The brutal death of my daughter should never have happened. We believe the Israeli army must be held accountable for her unlawful killing.”
 
For many observers, Rachel Corrie’s death in March 2003 rapidly came to symbolize the injustices of Israel’s occupation. Diary entries, many of them written while she was living with Palestinian families, were adapted into a play that has been performed around the world.
 
However, as one Israeli commentator noted in the liberal daily newspaper Haaretz on the first anniversary of her death: “In Israel, her name has been all but forgotten.”
 
Corrie’s family hopes the court case will rectify that.
“My family and I are still searching for justice. The brutal death of my daughter should never have happened. We believe the Israeli army must be held accountable for her unlawful killing.”
Cindy Corrie, Rachel's mother
  Rachel, a film released last year about her life and the events in Rafah, is due to be screened in Tel Aviv on 16 March, on the seventh anniversary of her death and in the midst of the legal proceedings.
 
Until the court case in Haifa, the Corrie family had run into a series of administrative and legal brick walls in trying to get their daughter’s death independently investigated and to hold those responsible to account.
 
Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister at the time of Corrie’s death, promised a “thorough, credible and transparent investigation” would be conducted.
 


Rachel Corrie family finally puts Israel in dock
But an internal military inquiry clearing the two soldiers operating the bulldozer was widely criticized, including by US officials. Human Rights Watch said it “fell far short of the transparency, impartiality and thoroughness required by international law”.
 
The army’s report claimed that Corrie had been “hidden from view” behind a mound of earth and that the bulldozer had never come into contact with her. It concluded that “Corrie was struck by dirt and a slab of concrete” as earth slipped on top of her.
 
The four former ISM activists due to appear in court this week have been told not to comment before giving their testimonies.
 
But previous witness statements, backed by photographic evidence, have questioned the army’s account. Photographs show Corrie, wearing an orange fluorescent jacket and holding a megaphone, confronting the bulldozer over several hours. They also show the bulldozer’s track marks over Corrie’s body moments after she was crushed.
 
Tom Dale, a British activist who was next to Corrie when she was killed, wrote two days later that she had climbed on top of a mound of earth as activists nearby shouted at the bulldozer driver to stop.
 
The bulldozer, he wrote, “pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time.”
 
In 2007 a US court denied the Corrie family the right to sue the Caterpillar company, which supplies the Israeli army with the special D-9 bulldozers that killed their daughter and that Israel regularly uses to demolish Palestinian homes.
The Israeli bulldozer “pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time.”
Tom Dale, British eyewitness
  This week’s hearing is the outcome of a private lawsuit filed by the Corries in March 2005, at the suggestion of the US State Department.
 
Mrs Corrie said: “We hope this trial will also illustrate the need for accountability for thousands of lives lost, or indelibly injured, by the Israeli occupation and bring attention to the assault on non-violent human-rights defenders.”
 
Mr Corrie added that the family had had to endure “lies and misrepresentations” about the circumstances of their daughter’s death. The family also accused Israel of resorting to procedural delays to drag the case out.
 
Although Israel has agreed to let in the four ISM witnesses, it has refused to allow Ahmed Abu Nakira, a doctor in Gaza who treated Corrie, to attend the hearing or to be questioned over a video link.
 
The lawsuit accuses the Israeli government of being responsible either for Corrie’s intentional killing or for the negligent conduct of its soldiers towards unarmed demonstrators.
 
Israel claims it is not liable because the army’s actions were “acts of war” and because Corrie recklessly endangered herself.
 
Around the time Corrie was killed, three Britons -- Iain Hook, Tom Hurndall and James Millar -- were fatally shot by Israeli soldiers. Only in the case of Hurndall, another ISM volunteer who was shot in Rafah a month after Corrie, did an investigation lead to a soldier being found guilty and jailed.
 
Hussein Abu Hussein, the Corrie family’s lawyer, said they were seeking 324,000 US dollars in compensation for specific costs related to Corrie’s death, including the funeral, legal expenses and flights. In addition, the family will ask for general compensation for their suffering and Rachel’s loss of earnings, and punitive damages from the state.
 
In recent weeks the ISM’s office in the West Bank has been raided several times by the Israeli army, with computers and documents taken.
 
Mr Abu Hussein said he would be arguing in court that the D-9’s manual specifically states that work must not be carried out with civilians nearby, and that the state ignored a judicial decision that a US embassy representative be present at Corrie’s autopsy. 

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.
 
A version of this article originally appeared in The National, published in Abu Dhabi. The version on this website is published by permission of Jonathan Cook.

http://www.redress.cc/palestine/jcook20100311 http://www.redress.cc/palestine/jcook20100311



Jeudi 11 Mars 2010


Commentaires

1.Posté par serggio le 11/03/2010 14:32 | Alerter
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rachel corrie paix à toi ,cette brave est morte en chahida (martyre) honte à vous dirigeants arabes

2.Posté par salih le 11/03/2010 18:24 | Alerter
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je pense qu'elle s'est sacrifiée pour que la justice triomphe du moins c'est ce que devine, en fait j'aimerai pouvoir le lire en français parce-que je ne comprends pas l'anglais.
Je vous demande si l'un ou l'une de vous pourrez me dire où je peux le lire en vous remerciant inchallah.

3.Posté par salih le 11/03/2010 19:06 | Alerter
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y a un pb sur ce site, on ne peut plus s'exprimer c'est nouveau maintenant il faut attendre l'administrateur pour censurer les libres opinions .
je vois ....................

4.Posté par salih le 11/03/2010 19:07 | Alerter
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c'est n'importe quoi.

5.Posté par redk le 11/03/2010 21:41 | Alerter
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Le lâche fumier conducteur du bulldozer savait que Corrie était là, il n'a pas hésité à lui rouler dessus et faire une marche arrière pour l'achever, les témoins, même avec la fin d'interdiction qu'ils avais reçu de l'entité raciste et criminelle, pour ne pas témoigner, ne pèserons pas lourd dans ce simulacre de procès, l'entité se fera amnistiable, comme pour Iain Hook, Tom Hurndall et James Millar, les trois activistes antisionistes assassinés par les tshalopes à la même époque, la soif de sang humain des vampires continue!!

Reposez en paix les Martyres de la dignité humaine.

6.Posté par fiser le 11/03/2010 22:02 | Alerter
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des vrais barbares l'armée israélienne comme sont peuple d'ailleurs, aucune pitié les nazi de Hitler sont des saint comparer a eux.

7.Posté par Predication et Palestine le 11/03/2010 22:09 | Alerter
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Dieu,
dans votre infinie miséricorde,
donnez nous la force et le courage d'affronter les hordes maudites et damnées du Benyamin ShaytanYahou sur la terre ..

8.Posté par Sanity le 12/03/2010 03:57 | Alerter
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Paix a ton ame Rachel we all love you.

9.Posté par Rachel Corrie dans notre coeur le 12/03/2010 12:53 | Alerter
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Rachel Coriie sera pour l'étérnité dans nos coeurs, ce petit bout de femme a été tuée LACHEMENT et délibérement par un Buldozzer sioniste pour avoir protester contre la spoliation, l'usurpation, la confiscation,la colonistation et l'occupation des terres palestiniennes!!

Paix en ton âme Rachel!!!

10.Posté par Muslim le 12/03/2010 14:40 | Alerter
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Qu'Allah t'accorde sa miséricorde pour ton courage et ton sacrifice pour le peuple palestinien.

Tous les pays arabes de la région réunis n'ont pas le courage d'une seule femme à l'image de Rachel Corrie victime de la machine sioniste qui commet un génocide au su de tous.

Paix à toi Rachel

11.Posté par salih le 12/03/2010 18:52 | Alerter
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comment peuvent-ils enlever la vie de personnes qui lutent pour la justice et qu'aucune tv n'en parle et qu'aucune personnalité politique ne réagisse, cela devient tragique ce que l'on peut voir de nos jours.
Pour commettre autant de crime est rester impuni c'est qu'ils ont signes un contrat avec ibli qu'ils soient tous maudis.

ces monstres gouterons la mort comme tous les êtres de la terre et ce jour là sera pour eux le plus effroyable car de leur tombes ils verront l'enfer qui sera leur dernière demeure.Personne n'est éternel et personne n'a un contra avec la mort.
Que dieu récompense les justes.

12.Posté par la truie qui file le 16/03/2010 21:44 | Alerter
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"Le bulldozer israélien a "poussé Rachel, d'abord sous le scoop, puis sous l'herbe, puis continua jusqu'à son corps était au-dessous du cockpit. Ils ont attendu plus de son pendant quelques secondes, avant de s'inverser. Ils ont inversé avec la lame enfoncée, de sorte qu'il a éraflé sur son corps une deuxième fois. "

Cette horreur n'a pas de nom pour massacrer une jeune femme devoué à une cause de defense des droits d'un peuple martyre de l'invasion tzioniste dans l'ignorance coupable du plus grand nombre.

Corrie dans notre coeur vous representez, l'Ideal de la Vertu et du Sacrifice Volontaire Humain et Feminin martyre à la barbarie d'un etat meurtrier

Corrie à en ta memoire et je sait par intuition du coeur que tu travaillais de toute tes forces pour la paix nous tenterons encore une fois en ton nom de pardonner mais nous ne pourront jamais oublier ton sacrifice mais il,faudra que justice soit faite pour que des telles abominations cessent au depends du sort de ce peuple Martyre que tu as tenté d'aider par ton courage eclatant jusqu'a y sacrifier ta vie .

Alors nous devrons continuer ce combat contre la barbarie avec le meme courage .
dont tu nous as donné l'exemple.

13.Posté par Jagadeesan le 07/06/2010 09:58 | Alerter
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what a shame on us, we human being bring in technology with innovations in order to make our life better, but it is unfortunate to feel the pain that we do not respect each other. It is very painful to realize we kill our fellow human beings. Person like corrie is what we need today to make this world beautiful, peaceful and lovely. I can sense the pressures and the pain what corrie would have gone thru at that moment of getting crusshed, but her intentions were very clear and positive to save the homes of paletinines...

I Salute her. I pray for her soul to rest at peace. I pray for the ethical justice to her family.

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