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Seven years after Rachel Corrie death, her parents sue Israel

Seven years after US activist Rachel Corrie was hit and killed by a bulldozer driven by an Israel soldier, her parents are suing the Israeli military for culpability in the incident.

Craig Corrie, the father of Rachel Corrie, and her sister Sarah stand outside the courtroom at Haifa District Court March 10. The family of Rachel Corrie, an American killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza, launched a damages case on Wednesday, stoking controversy over the treatment of pro-Palestinian protesters and angering Israelis frustrated by international criticism.

Gil Cohen Magen/REUTERS/File

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A 80-foot-deep entrance to an underground smuggling tunnel now marks the spot where US activist Rachel Corrie died seven years ago on March 16, 2003, crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer as she protested the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah at the Egypt-Gaza border.

On the anniversary of Ms. Corrie's death, Palestinians in Ramallah gathered to dedicate a street in her name while a civil suit brought by her parents against Israel’s ministry of defense continues at a district court in the northern Israeli town of Haifa.

“The fact that the trial is happening in Israel is a plus,” says Eytan Gilboa, a senior researcher at Israel’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. “It has been a tragedy for the Corrie family and has caused a lot of damage to Israel in the court of international opinion. So it will say a lot about Israel’s judicial system and if Israel is found guilty, then justice is justice.”

Rachel’s parents Cindy and Craig Corrie charge that the death of their 23-year-old daughter, who had traveled to the Gaza Strip from Olympia, Wash., with the activist group the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), occurred because of the Israeli army’s intent or negligence – and they are seeking unspecified damages from the Israeli state.

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