Corrie Family Troubled After Israeli Army Cleared of Activist's Death

Category: World / Aug 28, 2012 10:21AM EDT

An Israeli court  (August 28) cleared Israel's military of any blame for the death of American activist Rachel Corrie on Tuesday, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.

Corrie's family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter in March 2003, launching a civil case after a military investigation found the army was not responsible.

Judge Oded Gershon said the death was a "regrettable accident" and invoked a clause that absolved the army because the incident had happened during a war-time situation.

Corrie, from Olympia, Washington, had joined a small group of international activists trying to stop the Israeli army from demolishing houses in the southern Gaza town of Rafah during the height of a Palestinian uprising.

Her friends said she was wearing a bright orange vest at the time of the incident and was standing on a mound of earth, but had lost her footing as the bulldozer advanced. The driver said he had not seen her and did not hear the cries to stop.

"We are of course deeply saddened and deeply troubled by what we heard today by Judge Oded Gershon. I believe that this was a bad day, not only for our family, but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel," she told reporters.

The family said it would appeal the ruling.

Corrie's death made her a symbol of the uprising, and while her family battled through the courts to establish who was responsible for her killing, her story was dramatized on stage in a dozen countries and told in the book "Let Me Stand Alone".