Family of Rachel Corrie will sue Israel

The family of pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer are to sue the defence ministry in a civil case.

By Jessica Elgot, February 24, 2010
Activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer

Activist Rachel Corrie, 23, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer

The family of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, killed seven years ago while apparently acting as a human shield in front of an Israeli army bulldozer, is to sue the Israeli Defence Ministry.

Cindy and Craig Corrie of Olympia, Washington, say they have four key witnesses, three Britons and an American, who saw Ms Corrie crushed underneath a Caterpillar bulldozer in Rafah in 2003.

The witnesses belong to the International Solidarity Movement, the pro-Palestinian activist group with which Ms Corrie, 23, was involved at the time of her death.

The witnesses, who are currently prohibited from entering Israel, will be allowed entry to testify at the case.

The civil lawsuit will begin on March 10 and will take place in Haifa, shortly before the seventh anniversary of Ms Corrie’s death.

Family lawyer Hussein Abu Hussein says the court must decide if Ms Corrie’s death was an accident, as the Israeli army has previously found. The family will seek damages if Israel is found responsible.

An Israeli military investigation said the bulldozer driver had not seen Ms Corrie as she had been hidden from view by dirt the machine had thrown up. She was struck by slabs of concrete, which killed her.

The International Solidarity Movement was accused by the official investigation of behaviour which was "illegal, irresponsible and dangerous."

The family has previously attempted to sue bulldozer manufacturer Caterpillar in 2007, claiming the company knew that it sold the bulldozers to Israel for “human rights violations.”

Last updated: 11:02am, February 24 2010