Rachel Corrie's parents confront bulldozer driver

Driver who ran over Corrie was hidden behind a screen, 15 feet away from Corrie's parents, as he testified in their civil lawsuit.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 21, 2010 12:28
1 minute read.
Rachel Corrie's Parents

Rachel Corrie's Parents 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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The parents of an American protester crushed to death seven years ago by an Israeli bulldozer got their first chance on Thursday to confront the man who drove the vehicle that killed her.

However, the contact in an Israeli courtroom is indirect: The unidentified bulldozer driver was shielded behind a wood-and-plastic partition, his voice floating into the hall over a microphone.

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Rachel Corrie's parents were seated about 15 feet away as he testified publicly for the first time in their civil lawsuit against the Israeli government.

The parents of Rachel Corrie have spent years battling in Israeli courts for two modest goals they hope might give them some closure: an apology from the military and a chance to look in the eye in court, the driver of the bulldozer that ran over their daughter.

They suffered a setback in their quest last week when a judge declined one of their key requests. The driver was screened from view during testimony, and the same is expected of his commander. Their identities have not been made public.

The family has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the decision — they say seeing the bulldozer driver and his commander face-to-face would help them feel more compassion.

"We are desperately trying to keep our minds open about this," said father Craig Corrie, 63.



Rachel Corrie was killed on March 16, 2003, while standing in the way of a military bulldozer that sought to demolish a Palestinian home in Gaza. An IDF investigation concluded she was partially hidden behind a dirt mound and ruled her death an accident. The driver and his commander were not charged or tried and no one was punished for her death.

In 2005, the Corries filed a civil suit against the Defense Ministry. They are seeking a symbolic one dollar in damages plus trial costs and travel expenses for themselves and witnesses, which they say are close to $100,000. Hearings in the case began this year.

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