US Imperialism


WSF In India






Gujarat Pogrom






Join Mailing List

Contact Us


Israeli Soldiers Exonerated
In Death of Rachel Corrie

Seattle Times
28 June, 2003

JERUSALEM — Israel's military prosecutor has exonerated Israeli soldiers in the death of Rachel Corrie, 23, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in March as she protested the destruction of a Palestinian home at the Rafah refugee camp.

The death of Corrie, a student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, sparked debate nationally and internationally on the role and methods of activists in a volatile land.

The Rafah camp, on the Egyptian border, has been one of the flashpoints in the Mideast conflict. The army said the home being protected by Corrie was being destroyed in an effort to block arms smuggling.

A picture of Rachel Corrie is diplayed with the US Capitol in the background. (AFP/File/Stephen Jaffe)

Members of her pro-Palestinian group, International Solidarity Movement, claimed that Corrie was visible to the bulldozer driver and that her death was malicious.

"When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn aside, (Rachel) climbed up onto the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in front of it ... to look directly at the driver, who kept on advancing," the group said in a statement.

Announcing the ruling, the army said the driver did not see her, claiming she was standing behind a mound of earth.

Military police investigating the Corrie case found that the soldiers operating the bulldozer had no intention of harming her, the army said in a statement.

"Rachel Corrie was injured as a result of earth and building material falling on her when she tried to climb on a pile of earth while work was being carried out by an armored Israel Defense Forces bulldozer," the statement said. "The crew of the armored bulldozer did not see Miss Corrie, who was standing behind a pile of earth, nor could they have seen or heard her."

"I feel I have a right to know what happened to Rachel," said Corrie's sister, Sarah Simpson, 29, of Olympia. "Prime Minister Sharon promised President Bush a credible investigation of her death, and we as a family expect no less."

"I'm outraged, but I'm not surprised," said John Reese, a Seattle member of the International Solidarity Movement who met Corrie soon before she left for Israel. "It's the military investigating itself, so it's not surprising that it always finds itself innocent."

"The big question now is what is the U.S. going to do about it," said Kristi Schaefer, 26, of Olympia, who was Corrie's best friend.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company