Israeli Supreme Court Hears Rachel Corrie Appeal

May 21, 2014  

Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday heard an appeal by the parents of a US activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in 2003.

Rachel Corrie was accidentally killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza, as she stood in a spot where civilians were not allowed and she could not be seen by the driver, this at a time when Israel was acting in self-defense in an effort to curb terrorist activity in the area.

Corrie’s parents asked for a decision clearing the military of any responsibility for her death to be overturned, alleging “negligence” in the treatment of the case by an Israeli court.

“I think they’ve set a very low threshold in terms of what would be considered negligence, and just ignored the lack of a credible and thorough investigation,” Rachel’s father Craig Corrie said, referring to the 2012 court ruling.

“If you take (all the material for the appeal) together, what you have is a mechanism that allows the Israeli military to act with impunity,” he told
journalists before the hearing. “As an ex-soldier myself I think that’s very dangerous.”

His wife Cindy Corrie said: “I think there are very important decisions that this court needs to make that impact far more than Rachel.”

It was unclear when the Supreme Court would rule on the appeal.

An Israeli court in 2012 cleared the army of any responsibility for Corrie’s death, rejecting a civil suit filed by the family. The ruling was based on the height of the bulldozer; Corrie was standing in the driver’s “blind spot,” Judge Oded Garshon said. 

The court ialso nvoked the “combatant activities” exception, which states that a country’s armed forces cannot be held liable for physical or economic harm to civilians that occurs in an area defined as a war zone.

The ruling sparked an angry reaction from the family, with Cindy Corrie accusing the Israeli authorities of a cover-up.

According to eyewitness accounts, the 23-year-old was killed by a military bulldozer in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003.

At the time, she was acting as a human shield with a group of leftists from the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement to prevent troops from demolishing a house.

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