On this day: in history (2003), American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to block demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.
She had come to Gaza as part of her senior-year college assignment to connect her home town with Rafah in a sister cities project. While there, she had engaged with other International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists in efforts to prevent the Israeli army’s demolition of Palestinian houses in operations to eliminate weapons smuggling tunnels.
Corrie was killed during an Israeli military operation after a three-hour confrontation between Israeli soldiers operating two bulldozers and eight ISM activists.
The exact nature of her death and the culpability of the bulldozer operator are disputed, with fellow ISM protestors saying that the Israeli soldier operating the bulldozer deliberately ran over Corrie, and Israeli eyewitnesses saying that it was an accident since the bulldozer operator could not see her.
The Israeli army conducted an investigation, which concluded that the death was an accident, and that the driver of the bulldozer could not see Corrie due to limited visibility from his cab.
In 2005 Corrie’s parents filed a civil lawsuit against the state of Israel. The lawsuit charged Israel with not conducting a full and credible investigation into the case and with responsibility for her death, contending that she had either been intentionally killed or that the soldiers had acted with reckless neglect.They sued for a symbolic one US dollar in damages.
In August 2012, an Israeli court rejected their suit and upheld the results of the 2003 military investigation, ruling that the Israeli government was not responsible for Corrie’s death. The ruling was met with criticism by some human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and by activists.
An appeal against the August 2012 ruling was heard on May 21, 2014. On February 14, 2015, the Supreme Court of Israel rejected the appeal.
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Created by Okey Obiabunmo