Islam House

Friday, October 22, 2010

Family of US activist hear voice of Israeli who killed her

Relatives of US activist Rachel Corrie, who was run over by an Israeli bulldozer during a demonstration in Gaza in 2003, for the first time on Thursday heard the voice of the driver who killed her.
But they were denied a chance to see the man, because his testimony in the civil case they have filed against Israel was delivered from behind a screen in the Haifa courtroom.

"It was a relief to get this behind us," Corrie's mother Cindy told AFP. "But it was very disappointing that we could hear his voice but we could not see him."

The family said in February they would sue over her death.

"The state should take responsibility for the death of Rachel Corrie. We believe her killing was done intentionally or at least out of negligence and wrongdoing," their lawyer Hussein Abu Hussein told AFP at the time.

Corrie, a 23-year-old killed at the height of the 2000 Palestinian intifada or uprising, became a symbol of foreign support for the Palestinian cause and the subject of a 2005 play based on her emails and diary.
The Israeli military closed its own investigation into the incident in 2003 without taking any disciplinary action, saying the bulldozer crew could not see Corrie because she was behind a mound of rubble.

Cindy Corrie said the court had allowed the driver to testify from behind a screen for his protection.

"To me the screen is a continuation of the hiding, the cover up of what really has gone on, by the Israeli government for the last seven years," she said.

Corrie said the family members were disappointed at what they felt was the driver's lack of remorse.

"What I heard in his words came across as indifference. He could not even remember the time of day when Rachel was killed, he could not remember the date.

"We heard no remorse, there was not one moment, where, through his words I heard anything that sounded like remorse," she said.

Activists who witnessed Corrie's death said she and others were acting as human shields to prevent a house demolition in the Gaza border town of Rafah for more than two hours and were clearly visible to the bulldozer driver.

The trial, in which the Corries are demanding one dollar plus costs, is set to resume on November 4.

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