Nine years and five months after Rachel Corrie, aged 23, was fatally crushed by an Israeli armored bulldozer in Rafah, an Israeli judge dismissed a civil lawsuit brought by her family, ruling that Israel was not responsible for the “accident” and that Corrie had put herself in harm’s way. According to the High Court in Haifa, the bulldozer driver had not seen Corrie.
Of course, the first question that comes to mind is, how does a soldier and trained bulldozer driver accidentally bulldoze a human being wearing a bright orange jacket and shouting from a bullhorn?
As part of her senior year project at The Evergreen State College in Washington, Corrie chose to volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the Gaza Strip. Part of her regular activity involved attempting to obstruct the Israeli military from carrying out home demolitions. On March 16, 2003, she stood in front of a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer assigned to demolish a home in the Tel Al Sultan district of Rafah. It moved forward, crushing her and eventually toppling the structure.
If the bulldozer driver avoided locking eyes with Corrie, he’d have at least spotted the four other activists with her, each waving their arms and shouting at the the bulldozer crew to stop. Tom Dale, another ISM volunteer who was standing just meters from Corrie, recounts the following:
“They pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time. Every second I believed they would stop but they never did.” [Read more...]