(Haifa, Israel – September 5, 2010)– The civil law suit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza, resumed Sunday in the Haifa District Court. In March, the Corrie family called their witnesses to the stand. Today marked the beginning of the State’s testimony.
Rachel Corrie, an American human rights defender from Olympia, WA, was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, by a Caterpillar D9R military bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against the demolitions of Palestinian homes.
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The first state witness, a Military Police investigator known to the court as Oded, was part of a three-person team that investigated Rachel’s killing. Oded corroborated much of the testimony provided by El’ad, an investigator who testified in March, and added additional details about the inadequacy of the investigation.
- Oded confirmed that a commander of the unit involved in Rachel’s killing interrupted the questioning of the bulldozer operator, telling him that Doron Almog, head of the Israeli military’s Southern Command, had ordered that the questioning cease. He also said that, in his experience, interference of this nature from military commanders was not uncommon.
- When asked why he did not challenge the intervention, Oded said that as a junior investigator, it was not his place to do so. He was 20-years-old at the time, with only a high-school education and three-months of training in investigation.
- Corrie’s case was the first civilian killing that Oded investigated from beginning to end. [Read more…]