Remembering Rachel Corrie

17 Mar

‘I feel like I’m witnessing the systematic destruction of a people’s ability to survive. It’s horrifying.’

Palestine Network News, Gaza, 16 March 2017

14 years ago today, an Israeli military bulldozer killed activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza

Today marks the anniversary of the Israeli killing of Rachel Corrie in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, 14 years ago.

On March 16, 2003, Rachel was killed by an Israel Occupation Force (IOF) armoured bulldozer in Rafah during the second Palestinian intifada.

Rachel had come to Gaza to try and establish a sister city project between her hometown Olympia, Washington and Rafah, Gaza. She was a peace activist connected to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who tried to prevent the demolition of Palestinian houses which were being carried out by the Israeli army.

After a three hour long confrontation between ISM activists and the Israeli army’s demolition forces, she was killed, less than two months after arriving in Gaza.

Israel claims that the driver of the bulldozer could not see Rachel because of the limited field of view from within the bulldozer. [Rachel was wearing a hi-visibility jacket and using a loudhailer].

Humans rights groups claim that the driver had seen her and deliberately continued driving, disregarding her fellow activists who were shouting and waving their arms, which resulted in Rachel’s death.

The Israeli army’s investigation of the incident concluded that the death was an accident because the driver of the bulldozer had limited visibility and therefore couldn’t see Rachel. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations criticized the military investigation, claiming that it was not transparent, credible or thorough enough.

The moment before US peace activist Rachel Corrie (inset) was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer. Rachel had joined a protest action attempting to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafa, Gaza in 2003

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