Rachel Corrie trial to resume in April 20Mar11 March 21, 2011

The Alternative Information Center -  20 March 2011

The trial for Rachel Corrie, the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) activist killed in Gaza by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003, continues in the Israeli city of Haifa, on 3 and 6 April. Six state witnesses remain to testify, including commanders on the ground in 2003.

The trial for Rachel Corrie, the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) activist killed in Gaza by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003, continues in the Israeli city of Haifa, on 3 and 6 April. Six state witnesses remain to testify, including commanders on the ground in 2003.

Rachel, who was 23 years old when she was killed on 16 March 2003, was crushed by an Israeli army Caterpillar D9R bulldozer, while nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow ISM activists in the Gaza city Rafah. She died of her injuries after being evacuated by ambulance.

The bulldozer driver who struck and killed Rachel in Rafah, Gaza, testified for the first time in court hearings in October 2010 in the civil lawsuit filed by the Corrie family against the state of Israel.

Prior to the start of the hearings. the Haifa District Court granted a government request to allow soldiers, including the driver of the bulldozer, to testify behind a screen during the court hearings.

Corrie family attorneys opposed the motion, arguing that allowing the soldiers to testify behind a screen infringes upon the right to an open, fair and transparent trial, but the court sided with the government’s request.

Following the driver’s testimony, Cindy Corrie stated, “It was very difficult not to hear or detect anything in this witness’s words or voice that suggested remorse. Sadly, what I heard from the other side of the screen was indifference.”

The commander of the second bulldozer, known to the court as A.S., also testified, and told the court he did not see the other bulldozer strike Rachel and did not remember much about that day.

“Contrary to the detailed affidavit he signed less than eight weeks ago, A.S. said he did not know how Rachel had been hurt; did not know the distance from which the bulldozer had approached Rachel; and did not know the height and width of the mound of earth the bulldozer was pushing,” according to trial notes from the Rachel Corrie Foundation.

The Military Police Special Investigative Unit’s Shalom Michaeli also testified in October 2010. He oversaw the investigation into Rachel’s killing and told the court that he stood by his 2003 investigation and saw no reason that anyone should have been prosecuted.

In a message released last week, Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie, said, “On Wednesday, March 16th, we mark the eighth anniversary of our daughter Rachel’s stand in Rafah, Gaza, to protect the right of a Gazan family to be safe and secure in their home and the rights of all Palestinians to self-determination, freedom, equality, and security in the same measure as their Israeli neighbors.”

New trial dates are now scheduled for April 3rd and April 6th in the ongoing civil lawsuit Corrie vs. State of Israel. Hearings are scheduled from 9:00-16:00 in the court of Judge Oded Gershon, 6th floor, Haifa District Court, 12 Palyam St., Haifa, Israel.


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