Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace activist from Washington she was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to prevent the illegal demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah, southern Gaza.
Yesterday marked the thirteen-year anniversary of her brutal murder. Corrie was working in the Gaza Strip with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and had been staying in Palestinian homes threated with illegal house demolition.
Corrie stood up against illegal demolitions and was run over twice by the Israeli military, fracturing her legs, arms and skull. She was taken to the Abu Youssef al-Najjar hospital where she later died as a result of the injuries she sustained. A number of witnesses said that Corrie was clearly visible to the bulldozer. She was an unarmed young woman simply trying to protect Palestinian civilian homes and posed no threat to the Israeli military.
Four of the seven ISM members were present when the murder took place, Tom Dale describes the incident, “All the activists were screaming at the bulldozer to stop and gesturing to the crew about Rachel’s presence. We were in clear view as Rachel had been, they continued. They pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time. Every second I believed they would stop but they never did.”
Since 1967, Israel has demolished 48,488 structures Israel continues its house demolition policy and in 2015 alone it has demolished 450 structures. Israel’s house demolitions are illegal under international law, under the Fourth Geneva Convention; Occupying Powers are prohibited from destroying property or employing collective punishment.
“Corries death is a harrowing reminder of the crimes Israel has committed against innocent civilians, until today, Corrie is known for her bravery and courage against Israel’s brutal military regime. She was able to witness, report and stand up to the brutality of the occupation her heroic actions is a reminder of the continued international struggle against Israel’s illegal occupation.” – FOA