Slayings Continue As Peaceful Alternatives Are Shunned
In the Middle East, a U.S. Citizen is Killed
Human beings are killed -- in most cases, deliberately -- with terrible regularity in the Middle East. This is a continuing failure by people engaged in conflict. Some of the victims are women, some are children.
Today we draw your attention to something that has not happened in a long time -- on March 16 a U.S. citizen was killed in the Middle East. Her name was Rachel Corrie.
from Starhawk, reporting from Nablus:
Rachel was trying to stop the demolition of a Palestinian home. According to the other activists who were with her, she was in dialogue with the operator of the bulldozer. She was working in the spirit of nonviolence that is a guiding principle of the International Solidarity Movement, which provides support for Palestinian civilians and for nonviolent efforts to bring about justice for Palestine. Rachel climbed up on the bulldozer to talk to the soldier in the cockpit. She climbed down. She sat in front of the bulldozer. The soldier in control of the huge machine drove it deliberately over her. He then backed up, and ran over her again. Rachel was twenty-three years old.
from the Independent (UK):
The International Solidarity Movement said yesterday that Rachel Corrie was in the line of vision of the bulldozer's driver on Sunday as she stood in his path to try to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Rafah camp.
"When the bulldozer refused to stop or turn aside she climbed up on to the mound of dirt and rubble being gathered in front of it ... to look directly at the driver who kept on advancing," the group said in a statement.
The Israeli army said her death was an accident. It said the driver's vision was restricted because the bulldozer cab had small windows.
from Amnesty International:
Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today condemned the killing of Rachel Corrie and called for an independent investigation of her death. The organization also renewed a call for a suspension of US transfers to Israel of military equipment, including bulldozers, which have been used to commit human rights abuses. Amnesty International has consistently condemned violations by all parties to the conflict and called on these parties to take all possible measures to bring to an end the killing and wounding of civilians.
In the past two years, the Israeli army has demolished more than 3,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories, as well as large areas of agricultural land, public and private properties, and water and electricity infrastructure in urban and rural areas. Bulldozers used for demolitions have killed Palestinian civilians, but to date no thorough investigation has taken place. Amnesty International stresses that a thorough, professional, independent and impartial investigation into these deaths is urgently needed.
from Der Spiegel (Germany):
click here to see a picture of Corrie and the bulldozer which then ran her down, backed up, and ran over her again
from the Guardian (UK):
Israeli forces fired teargas and stun grenades yesterday in an attempt to break up a memorial service for Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist killed by an army bulldozer in Gaza on Sunday. Witnesses including several dozen foreigners and Palestinian supporters say Israeli armored vehicles tried to disperse the gathering at the spot in Rafah refugee camp where Ms Corrie was crushed to death.
A witness said the army failed to break up the service. "People were laying carnations at the spot where Rachel was killed when a tank came and fired teargas right on them. Then a core group of the peace activists took an ISM cloth banner to the fence and pinned it up. "The tank chased after them trying to stop them with teargas but the wind was against the army," she said.
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