IDF concludes Rachel Corrie's death was accidental
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
An IDF investigation found that the killing of US activist Rachel Corrie by an army bulldozer clearing away debris in the Rafah refugee camp in March was accidental, according to a report issued Thursday night by the IDF.
The military report disputes the claim made by the pro-Palestinian activist group, the International Solidarity Movement, that the bulldozer driver saw Corrie, 23, and plowed over her deliberately.
According to the ISM, Corrie was killed after she and a small group of ISM volunteers had tried to stop the bulldozer from tearing down homes in the Rafah area.
ISM witnesses said that an IDF bulldozer ran Corrie over and then backed over her again, causing injuries that led to her death.
In a media release, the IDF stated that following its investigation there was "no way to find fault with the soldiers involved."
It said that Corrie died from injuries sustained by debris that fell on top of her as a result of the bulldozer's movements, rather than from direct contact with the bulldozer itself.
The report said that the bulldozer driver did not see Corrie or hear her voice, because she was behind a pile of dirt. It added that Corrie's death occurred while the IDF was working to prevent terrorist activity in the area.
According to additional information provided by Israel Radio, the soldiers involved passed a polygraph test. The investigation also relied on photographs from the incident.
ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf said she had not yet seen the report, but that the ISM and Corrie's parents had been unhappy with a previous report.
Arraf said she anticipated that this report, which is expected to be more thorough, will also be disappointing, "given our experience with justice and the Israeli legal system for any action that is anti-occupation."
"We will keep lobbying to see that justice is done not only for Rachel, but for the cause she was killed for."
A senior on leave from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, Corrie had been volunteering with the ISM in Rafah.
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