Rachel Corrie Case Hinged on Driver

Did Bulldozer Driver See Pro-Palestinian Activist Or Not?

Narrow Issue: The family of Rachel Corrie, lower right, prepare to hear the ruling of an Israeli court over the American activist’s death in Gaza.
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Narrow Issue: The family of Rachel Corrie, lower right, prepare to hear the ruling of an Israeli court over the American activist’s death in Gaza.

By JTA

Published August 28, 2012.
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“There’s a big gap between the organization’s declarations and the character of its actions,” Gershon read from the verdict. “ISM activities include placing activists as human shields for terrorists,” and “financial, logistical and moral assistance to Palestinians, including terrorists.”

But speaking at a news conference following the verdict, the Corrie family and its lawyer presented a narrative that contradicted the judge’s.

The lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, called Corrie and the other ISM volunteers “all peaceful activists. The army did not try to stop them. There was no command that it’s a closed military area. There was no threat to the lives of the soldiers. How could he say that?”

Hussein added that the driver of the bulldozer must have seen Corrie, as she was protesting in one spot for five hours before she was run over.

The Corrie family said it planned to appeal the verdict, which it must do within 45 days.

Cindy Corrie, Rachel’s mother, blamed the ruling on “a well-heeled system to protect the Israeli military and the soldiers who conduct actions in that military, to provide them with impunity at the cost of all the civilians who are impacted from what they do.”

“This was a bad day not only for our family but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel,” she said.

Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father, said after the ruling that though they had sued the state, he rejected “the idea that simply making some of these things known is an attack on Israel.” Israeli anti-occupation activists, he said, have supported the Corries “from the first moment we’ve done this.”

The Corries grew most passionate, however, when discussing what happened on the day their daughter died. They contradicted a statement from Israel’s State Prosecutor’s Office declaring that “the driver of the bulldozer and his commander had a very limited field of vision, such that they had no possibility of seeing Ms. Corrie.”

Corrie’s sister, Sarah Corrie Simpson, still wants answers from the driver.

“I can say without a doubt that I believe my sister was seen as that bulldozer approached her,” she said. “I hope someday he will have the courage to sit down in front of me and tell me what he saw and what he feels.”


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