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August 28, 2012
Material taken from The Electronic Intifada.
The Haifa District court ruled earlier today that the Israeli military is not responsible for killing American activist Rachel Corrie, and that Corrie was to blame for her own death.
"Even when she saw the mount of earth moving towards her, she did not move away. The accident was caused by the deceased," said Israeli Judge Oded Gershon, as he read out a summary of the 62-page ruling in front of a packed courthouse and with Rachel's mother Cindy, father Craig and sister Sarah sitting in the front row.
Twenty-three-year-old American activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in March 2003. At the time of her death, she was trying to prevent Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the Gaza border town of Rafah.
"There is no basis for the claim that the bulldozer hit her intentionally. It was a very unfortunate accident. I am confident the operator wouldn’t have continued if he saw her. This was an accident," Gershon said, adding "the state is not responsible for damages in actions [that occur] in combat operations."
The Corrie family intends to appeal the Haifa District Court’s decision at the Israeli high court within 45 days.
The case was originally filed against the state of Israel in 2005 in Haifa District Court. The family accused the state of being responsible for Rachel’s death and of not conducting a thorough investigation into what happened.
"We are, of course, deeply saddened and deeply troubled by what we heard today," said Rachel’s mother, Cindy Corrie, in a press conference following the verdict. "I believe that 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."