Court to decide Rachel Corrie case in August

Family blames IDF for US activist’s ’03 death in Gaza.

Rachel Corrie (photo credit: Reuters)
Rachel Corrie
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Haifa District Court announced on Sunday that it will give a verdict in August in a civil suit filed by the family of Rachel Corrie, the American pro- Palestinian activist struck and killed by a bulldozer in Gaza.
Corrie, 23, from Olympia, Washington, died in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 16, 2003, when a bulldozer struck her during a protest by pro-Palestinian group the International Solidarity Movement.
Corrie’s family filed the civil suit against the Defense Ministry in the district court five years ago. They claim that the IDF either deliberately killed Corrie or is at least guilty of gross negligence.
The state maintains that it bears no responsibility for Corrie’s death and that she should not have been in a war zone. IDF officials also say that the bulldozer operator who struck Corrie did not see her.
Judge Oded Gershon will read the verdict in the Haifa District Court at 9 a.m. on August 28.
The court was expected to give its verdict last month, but that was postponed as a result of delays in filing closing arguments.
Senior IDF officials including Col. Pinhas Zuaretz, the former commander of the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade, have testified in the trial.
Immediately after the trial ended in July, Corrie’s family alleged that important evidence, including several surveillance tapes from the time Corrie died, were withheld as part of a coverup over the circumstances of her death.
Among the evidence the family claims has been withheld from the civil suit are surveillance tapes that show color footage of events before and after Corrie’s death.
The color footage was used in a Channel 2 documentary, but the IDF has denied that the color footage exists, the family claims.
IDF officials did submit as evidence a black and white surveillance video with footage from immediately before and after Corrie’s death.
The family also claims there are discrepancies between a photograph of the bulldozer that they say killed Corrie taken by International Solidarity Movement activists, and a bulldozer shown on footage presented by the IDF.
They also allege that a surveillance camera in the area where Corrie was killed was turned to face away from the scene five minutes before she died.
The Defense Ministry has dismissed as baseless the Corrie family’s claims, saying that the state has transferred all evidence to the plaintiffs and no additional evidence exists.