'Rachel Corrie was cynically sent to front'

The Haifa District Court this week heard from the last witness in the civilian lawsuit being brought against the state of Israel by the parents of Rachel Corrie, the activist killed by an IDF bulldozer in 2003 in Gaza.

Colonel Pinhas Zuaretz (ret), who commanded the southern sector of the Gaza Strip at the time of Corrie's death, said in court that she had been sent to stand there by a terrorist organisation to obstruct the IDF operation. The Corrie family accused the IDF this week of withholding crucial evidence.

Colonel Zuaretz, the last witness to be heard in the 14-month case, told the court on Sunday that "a terror organisation sent Rachel Corrie to obstruct IDF soldiers. I am saying this in definite knowledge. She was sent to be there and commit provocations. She was sent to the front in a cynical fashion."

He said that on the same day, the bulldozer had retreated three times rather than get near to the protesters.

Corrie, a 24-year-old member of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was trying, along with a group of ISM members, to block IDF bulldozers that were clearing an area used by terrorists to dig tunnels under the border with Egypt.

According to the bulldozer driver, Corrie was in a blind spot and he did not see her when she fell in the path of the vehicle.

    Last updated: 1:02pm, July 14 2011