An Israeli judge ruled on Tuesday that the state bore no responsibility for the death of Rachel Corrie,the young American woman who was run over by a military bulldozer in 2003 as she protested housing demolitions in the Gaza Strip.
The lengthy verdict in the civil case called the death an accident that occurred during a military activity meant to prevent terrorist activity. She chose to put herself in danger, said the judge,Oded Gershon. She could have easily distanced herself from the danger like any reasonable person would.
Since her death,Corrie has become an international symbol of the Palestinian resistance. A play based on her writings has been performed in 10 countries,and a ship in an aid flotilla to Gaza bore her name. Numerous books and documentaries have told of how Corrie,a 23-year-old student,stood in an orange vest with a bullhorn between a bulldozer and the home of a Palestinian family in March 2003 during the height of the second intifada,or uprising.
A lawyer representing the state said after the hearing on Tuesday that the driver of the bulldozer did not see Corrie and could not have.
But at a news conference after the verdict,the Corrie familys lawyer,Hussein Abu Hussein,showed pictures of Corrie taken that day in 2003,pointing out her bright garb that he said anyone could have seen.
Its a black day for activists of human rights and people who believe in values of dignity, Hussein said. He said the family would appeal the decision within 45 days to the Israeli Supreme Court. Corries mother,Cindy Corrie,said,The diplomatic process between the US and Israel failed us.