Israeli Court Rejects Suit By U.S. Activists' Family

An Israeli judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit brought by the family of pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie. The judge ruled the death of the American was not caused by the negligence of the Israeli state or army. Corrie was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home in the southern Gaza Strip.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And we have some news to report from Israel this morning. A court has absolved the Israeli military of all responsibility for the 2003 death of a young American protestor on the Gaza/Egypt border.

Sheera Frenkel has this report from Haifa.

SHEERA FRENKEL, BYLINE: Rachel Corrie was crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer as she stood trying to block the demolition of Palestinian homes, in Rafah, Gaza. Today, a panel of judges ruled that she could have saved herself by moving out of the way. And they dismissed her family's lawsuit against the government.

In a document released by the court, the Haifa district court judges said that they found no negligence on the part of the army of the State of Israel. The judges called Corrie's death a regrettable accident, and noted that she had ignored repeated warnings to leave the area.

Cindy Corrie, Rachel's mother, said she was saddened by the verdict and the seeming impunity of the Israeli military. The family averred that Rachel was clearly visible to the driver of the bulldozer, in her bright orange vest and loudspeaker. Corrie's family fought a nine-year battle in Israel's courts, arguing that the military never launched a full and credible investigation into the case. The Corrie family lawyer said they would appeal the case to Israel's Supreme Court.

For NPR News, I'm Sheera Frenkel.

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