US envoy says Israel’s inquiry into Rachel Corrie’s death wasn’t credible — Haaretz

Haifa court will hand down civil lawsuit verdict on activist’s death Tuesday

American activist Rachel Corrie speaking in Gaza before her death in March 2003. (photo credit: screen capture, YouTube)
American activist Rachel Corrie speaking in Gaza before her death in March 2003. (photo credit: screen capture, YouTube)

Israel’s investigation into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie was not sufficiently credible, US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro told the Corrie family this week, Haaretz reported on Thursday.

The paper claimed that Shapiro told the Corrie family that Israel’s investigation into Corrie’s death was not as thorough or transparent as it should have been.

Corrie, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, was killed in 2003 while protesting the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip. She was run over by an IDF bulldozer.

When Shapiro was questioned by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee before his appointment as ambassador to Israel, he promised to uphold the administration’s position, which has been to press Israel for a complete investigation into Corrie’s death.

The Haifa District Court will hand down a verdict in a civil lawsuit regarding Corrie’s death next Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Corrie’s family, charges that the State of Israel is responsible for her death and claims that the state failed to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

Israel has claimed that the driver of the bulldozer did not see Corrie, that she should not have been in a war zone, and that a military investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of the state. Multiple government experts testified at the civil trial to say that the American activist should not have been in Gaza and that therefore Israel is not responsible for her death.

Four eyewitnesses from the International Solidarity Movement testified that Corrie was wearing bright colors and thus was visible to soldiers inside the bulldozer as it approached.

Stacy Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Corrie family, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that the military’s investigation into the activist’s death has been “careless and shoddy…and emotionally taxing for the family.”

Oral testimony in the civil case began on March 10, 2010. Over the past two years, there have been 15 court hearings at which 23 witnesses testified, producing more than 2,000 pages of court transcripts.

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