Rachel died 7 years ago today March 16 2003
March 16 2010
From Rachel’s Mother
This month, a civil lawsuit in Israel in the case of our daughter Rachel Corrie will converge with the seven-year anniversary of her killing in Gaza. A human rights observer and activist, Rachel, 23, was crushed to death by an Israel Defense Force (IDF) Caterpillar D9R bulldozer as she tried nonviolently to offer protection for a Palestinian family whose home was threatened with demolition. This lawsuit is one piece of our family’s seven-year effort to pursue accountability for Rachel while, also, challenging the Occupation that claimed her life.
On this day, when Rachel’s presence is powerful for many of us, we’re asking all of our friends to support Rachel’s vision of freedom for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip by participating in what we are calling the International Day of Conscience. Please join her struggle by calling the White House today – this link has all the information you need:
Seven years later, Rachel’s memory is still vibrant. I’m writing to you from Israel where we are plaintiffs in a civil case against the state of Israel for its responsibility in her death. In addition to seeking accountability through the Israeli court system, we’re asking all of our friends to support Rachel’s vision of freedom for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip by participating in a national call-in day to the White House.
I hope I can count on you to:
- Call the White House at 202-456-1111
- Urge Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell to visit Gaza and demand that the United States break the blockade of Gaza by providing immediate humanitarian aid and building materials.
- Tell us about your call. Tracking your calls makes a difference.
You can also make the call tomorrow. Please forward this to help spread the word.
A few Documents from above link.
March 15: Eye Witness Testifies: Israeli Military Investigator Tried to Influence My Statement
English (pdf, 166.24 KB)
- Today, March 15 2010, the Haifa District Court saw the third day of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles. Today’s only testimony came from British citizen Alice Coy, a nurse, who was an eyewitness to the killing. The state spent most of the day trying to establish that contrary to all eyewitness accounts and human rights reports, the Israeli Military had no intention of demolishing homes in the area on the day Rachel was killed.
Ms. Coy testified that:
- She first visited Israel in order visit Israeli family members.
- When the Israeli Military interviewed her on April 1st about Rachel’s killing, the soldier who documented her testimony refused to record her statement that she believed the bulldozers were going to destroy civilian homes.
- She believed the Israeli Military was planning to demolish homes on the day Rachel was killed because the Israeli Military had been demolishing homes on the Philadelphi Corridor in the days and weeks prior, and because they had already begun to demolish a house earlier that day by damaging its porch.
- She had spoken with many Palestinian families in the area where Rachel was killed whose homes had been demolished by the Israeli Military.
- She believed the bulldozer driver who killed Rachel could see her.
- She described her view of her work with ISM as promoting peace for the whole region.
The home Rachel Corrie was protecting, that of Dr. Samir Nasrallah, was in fact demolished by the Israeli Military later that year.
According to an October, 2004 Human Rights Watch report, Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip, between 2000 and 2004, the Israeli Military demolished over 2,500 Palestinian houses in Gaza, nearly two thirds of which were located in Rafah, resulting in more than 16,000 people – over 10% of Rafah’s population – losing their homes. The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, in its 2004 report Through No Fault of their Own, found that contrary to Israel’s claim that prior warning is given before a home is demolished, occupants were given prior notification in a mere 3% of the cases.
The Human Rights’ Watch report further documented that most of the destruction in Rafah occurred along the Israeli-controlled border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt known as the Philadelphi Corridor, the area where Rachel was killed. During regular nighttime raids and with little or no warning, Israeli forces used armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to raze blocks of homes, incrementally expanding a “buffer zone” that is currently up to three hundred meters wide.The pattern of destruction strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of whether they posed a specific threat, in stark violation of international law.
The trial will resume on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at 9 a.m. at the district court in Haifa.
- March 14: Autopsy doctor admits to violating court order in Rachel Corrie autopsy (Read it online here.)
- English (pdf, 146.02 KB)
Quote from testimony-Dr. Hiss disclosed that he had kept samples from Rachel’s body for histological testing without informing her family. Dr. Hiss admitted that he did not inform the family about their right to bury the samples and that the samples were likely to have been buried with other body samples from the Institute, but he was uncertain. This was the first time that the family of Rachel Corrie received confirmation that the Israeli Forensic Institute had indeed kept samples of her body, despite prior attempts to receive this information. Dr. Hiss has been the subject of a prior lawsuit in Israel brought by families for whom he did not return body parts and samples.
- Israeli Court Begins Hearing Testimonies in the Unlawful Killing of 23 year old American Activist Rachel Corrie (pdf, 134.99 KB) (Read it online here.)
- Press Release: Family Seeks Accountability Seven Years After An Israeli Military Bulldozer Crushed Their 23 Year Old Daughter To Death (Read it online here.)
- Case Synopsis: Corrie v. The State of Israel (pdf, 110.38 KB)
- Joe Biden questions James Cunningham on issues related to Rachel Corrie (pdf, 67.37 KB)