The death of the pro-Palestinian activistRachel Corriewas not caused by the negligence of the Israeli state or army, a judge has ruled, dismissing a civil lawsuit brought by the family.
Corrie’s death was an accident for which the state ofIsraelwas not responsible, said the judge at Haifa district court.
There had been no fault in the internal Israeli military investigation clearing the driver of the bulldozer which crushed Corrie to death in March 2003 of any blame. The judge said the driver had not seen the young American activist.
Corrie could have saved herself by moving out of the zone of danger as any reasonable person would have done, said Judge Oded Gershon. He ruled that no compensation would be paid and the family would not have to pay costs of the case.
The lawsuit, filed by Corrie’s parents, Cindy and Craig, of Olympia, Washington state, accused the Israeli military of either unlawfully or intentionally killing Rachel or of gross negligence.
Their daughter was killed on 16 March 2003, crushed under an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to obstruct the demolition of a Palestinian home in Rafah on to the Gaza-Egypt border.
At the time – the height of the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising – house demolitions were common, part of an increasing cycle of violence from both sides. Palestinian suicide bombers were causing death and destruction with terrifying frequency; the Israeli military was using its mighty force and weaponry to crush the uprising.
The Israeli defence forces said the houses it targeted with bulldozers and shells were harbouring militants or weapons or being used to conceal arms-smuggling tunnels under the border.Human rightsgroups said the demolitions were collective punishment. Between 2000 to 2004 the Israeli military demolished around 1,700 homes in Rafah, leaving about 17,000 people homeless, according to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem.
Corrie was one of a group of around eight international activists acting as human shields against the demolitions. According to witness statements made at the time and evidence given in court, she clambered atop a pile of earth in the path of an advancing Caterpillar bulldozer.
“She was standing on top of a pile of earth,” fellow activist and eyewitness Richard Purssell, from Brighton, said at the time. “The driver cannot have failed to see her. As the blade pushed the pile, the earth rose up. Rachel slid down the pile. It looks as if her foot got caught. The driver didn’t slow down; he just ran over her. Then he reversed the bulldozer back over her again.”
Tom Dale, an 18-year-old from Lichfield in Staffordshire, said: “The bulldozer went towards her very slowly, she was fully in clear view, straight in front of them. Unfortunately she couldn’t keep her grip there and she started to slip down. You could see she was in serious trouble, there was panic in her face as she was turning around. All the activists there were screaming, running towards the bulldozer, trying to get them to stop. But they just kept on going.”
The day after Corrie’s death, Israel’s then prime minister, Ariel Sharon, promised US president George W Bush that Israel would conduct a “thorough, credible and transparent” investigation into the incident.
Within a month the IDF had completed an internal inquiry led by its chief of staff. It concluded that its forces were not to blame, that the driver of the bulldozer had not seen the activist, that no charges would be brought and the case was closed.
“Rachel Corrie was not run over by an engineering vehicle but rather was struck by a hard object, most probably a slab of concrete which was moved or slid down while the mound of earth which she was standing behind was moved,” it said. Corrie and other ISM activists were accused by the investigators of “illegal, irresponsible and dangerous” behaviour.
The Corries launched their civil lawsuit against the state of Israel as an “absolutely last resort”. The case opened at Haifa district court in March 2010.
Among those giving evidence was the driver of the bulldozer, who testified anonymously from behind a screen for “security reasons”. He repeatedly insisted that the first time he saw the activist was when she was already dying: “I didn’t see her before the incident. I saw people pulling the body out from under the earth.”
The hearings ended in July last year.
Hurricane Isaac is headed to Florida and needless to say, I am far from excited. The hurricane has already killed 3 people in Haiti, now headed to Cuba, and said to make landfall in the Florida Keys some time tomorrow night. I don’t think (or at least hoping) that the county I live in will be under evacuation but we are already experiencing the effects of a tropical storm. The wind is making siren-like sounds outside, while the trees are whipping away, and of course there is the diagonal rainfall that I’ve grown to loathe. Again, I’m not really in the mood for a visit from Isaac … but I can’t say it wouldn’t be entertaining watching these witches in this town blow away while strolling their puppies up and down the streets. On a serious note, I hope everyone living in the path of this hurricane/storm stays safe.
I was having a conversation with one of my brother’s friends a few nights ago in regards to friends of his who were visiting from Israel and came by my family’s hookah cafe to smoke. They were really nice guys. I said that I genuinely found it interesting that there is such a diversity in the population, considering his Israeli friends were of Iraqi and Iranian descent. He replies: “What do you mean? No one in Israel is actually from Israel.” (I’d like to point out that he is of the Jewish faith and it wasn’t a biased remark) I had to giggle … it was such a simple, honest statement and I’m sure he didn’t realize what he stated in the moment … but he pretty much resolved the largest conflict in the Middle East.
It’s a shame that we take so much for granted throughout our daily lives while in certain regions of the world, something as simple as being allowed to enter a school is somewhat of a ‘privilege’.
(Photo) DETERMINATION: Palestinian girls study in front of a checkpoint in Hebron after the Israeli army denied them access to their school.
A 15-year-old Palestinian girl took office as the mayor of a West Bank town and became the youngest person in the world to occupy this position.
Salaam to all. So, I’ve been MIA for quite some time … I haven’t been able to access this account in what feels like forever but I finally managed to. Hoping that you all had a blessed Ramadan/Eid Mubarak!!!
An investigation has been launched into how leading Palestinian activist Sheikh Raed Salah managed to get into the UK despite being banned, Home Secretary Theresa May said.
Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was detained late last night in London by police, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) said.
Mrs May said officials from the UK Border Agency were now taking steps to remove Salah from the country.
Mrs May said: “We do not normally comment on individual cases but in this case I think it is important to do so.
"I can confirm he was excluded and that he managed to enter the UK. He has now been detained and the UK Border Agency is now making arrangements to remove him.
"A full investigation is now taking place into how he was able to enter."
Sarah Colborne, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) director, insisted that Sheikh Salah was the leader of a legitimate political organisation and that he rejected all forms of racism, including anti-semitism.
A statement from his solicitor Farooq Bajwa added that Sheikh Salah had “no knowledge” of an alleged travel ban and had made “no attempt” to conceal his identity when he entered Britain.
"Sheikh Raed Salah is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the largest movement for Palestinians in Israel," Ms Colborne said.
"This is a legitimate organisation which Israel has never moved to ban.
"Raed Saleh regularly speaks at venues across Israel where he has considerable support amongst the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up a fifth of the population.
"Sheikh Raed has been elected as mayor of his home town, Um al-Fahm, three times. He has never been convicted of anti-semitism in Israel.
"Before coming to Britain, he faced horrific allegations of anti-semitism, which he completely refuted.
"He has clarified his position of being opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, Islamophobia and racism against his own people, the Palestinians."
Mr Bajwa added later that his client, an Israeli citizen, had entered Britain on Saturday using a passport issued in his name.
"He is an Israeli citizen and I do not believe that visas are required for Israeli citizens. He walked through immigration and was not stopped and was not questioned at all," he said.
He said up until Sheikh Salah’s arrest, there had been no notification that the police were looking for him or that he was wanted. He said Salah had asked him to check with the Home Office yesterday when reports started to emerge about his status.
Mr Bajwa said “nobody” had seemed to know the answer - and he was finally asked to write to the Home Office, which he did last night.
"Had he been asked to attend a police station, he would have done so very happily," he said.
"He made no attempt to conceal his identity, he has been attending public meetings and advertising those public meetings.
"This has not been a cloak-and-dagger visit. It was publicised well before his arrival that he would be coming."
He added: “The facts that we know are very clear - he has universally and consistently condemned all forms of racism including anti-semitism.”
He said Sheikh Salah was addressing a meeting in Leicester last night and was held overnight in Paddington Green police station in west London.
“To each of you God has prescribed a Law and a Way. If God would have willed, He would have made you a single people. But God’s purpose is to test you in what he has given each of you, so strive in the pursuit of virtue, and know that you will all return to God [in the Hereafter], and He will resolve all the matters in which you disagree.”
[5:49] The Holy Quran
Salam & thank you for the kind words. I’ve had a pretty intense week & you can’t imagine how much these words - coming from someone I don’t know - have meant to me. I feel awkward looking at any of this as an achievement, as I’m just trying to follow the example of the Prophet (SAW) & the guidelines that Allah (SWT) has layed out for us, but thank you very much (thank you for the follow, as well). May He guide & protect us all <3