The Haifa District Court rejected on Tuesday 28th August, the civil lawsuit filed against “Israel” for the killing of peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an “Israeli” military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer nine years ago in a pro-Palestinian demonstration protesting against house demolition in Gaza.
The lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of the Corrie family by attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charged “Israel” with responsibility for Rachel’s killing and failure to conduct a full and credible investigation in the case.
According to “Israeli” newspaper Haaretz, in a ruling read out to the court, judge Oded Gershon considered Corrie’s death a “regrettable accident”, and said that “Israel” was not responsible and the army was not blamed because the incident happened in a war-time situation.
“I reject the suit. There is no justification to demand the state pay any damages,” Said judge Gershon
Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein said in a statement on the verdict in the Rachel Corrie wrongful death lawsuit, “This court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life.”
While not surprising, this verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness. Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life. In this regard, the verdict blames the victim based on disotrd facts and it could have been written directly by the state attorneys.
He also revealed that they ‘the attorney and Corrie’s family’ knew from the beginning that they had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice, but they are convinced that this verdict distorts the strong evidence presented in court, and contradicts fundamental principles of international law with regard to protection of human rights defenders. In denying justice in Rachel Corrie’s killing, this verdict speaks to the systemic failure to hold the “Israeli” military accountable for continuing violations of basic human rights.
Abu Hussein concluded in his statment, We would like to thank everyone who supported the family and the legal team; including activists, NGOs, legal observers, US embassy officials, interpreters, reporters who covered the trial, and we look forward to talking to you at the press conference.
It’s worth mentioning that Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American came from Olympia, Washington, and was a volunteer with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.