Israel's inquiry into death of activist Rachel Corrie not credible, says US
Ambassador criticises investigation into death of Rachel Corrie as civil case verdict expected
Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt. As Political Editor and then Chief Political Commentator, he previously covered the John Major and early Tony Blair era. He has written for the Daily Express, Sunday Times, Times and Sunday Telegraph, and Sunday Correspondent. He is the author of Mandelson and the Making of New Labour (2000).
Friday 24 August 2012
Israel has failed to carry out the "thorough, credible and transparent investigation" it had promised into the death of American activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza nine years ago, the US ambassador in Tel Aviv has reiterated to her family.
The Haifa district court is expected to deliver a verdict next Tuesday in the civil action brought against the State of Israel by the bereaved family of Ms Corrie, who was crushed to death by a military bulldozer while part of a group seeking to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah.
US ambassador Dan Shapiro's comments, in a meeting with Ms Corrie's parents Craig and Cindy, and her sister Sarah, reflect earlier public stances of the US government. But the family said yesterday it had been "encouraged" that coming so soon before the hearing they indicated an "ongoing" demand by the US government for such an investigation irrespective of next week's verdict.
The family opened the civil suit in 2005, two years after Ms Corrie's death at the age of 23, when the military prosecutor closed the file on the case after an internal enquiry.
The suit charged that the Israeli military had been responsible for the International Solidarity Movement activist's death and failed to conduct a full and open investigation.
The state argued in response to the family's suit that Ms Corrie and her fellow activists should not have been in a military zone and that the driver of the D9 military bulldozer did not see her. Witnesses called by the plaintiffs, however, said that Ms Corrie, who was wearing an orange fluorescent jacket, was clearly visible before she was killed.
At a hearing in the court in 2010 Richard Purssell, a British activist in the pro-Palestinian ISM, described how he had watched in horror as Ms Corrie was dragged four metres by the bulldozer moving forward at a "fast walking pace".
The full investigation was promised in a telephone call to the then US President George W Bush by Ariel Sharon, who was Israeli Prime Minister at the time, in the immediate aftermath of Ms Corrie's death. But no action was taken against the bulldozer driver or any other military personnel present at the time.
The US embassy said yesterday it would not comment on what was said at a private meeting held by the ambassador. But his remarks appear to reaffirm the letter written to the family in 2004 by Lawrence Wilkerson, an aide to then Secretary of State, Colin Powell, saying that Israel had failed to carry out the "thorough, credible, and transparent" investigation promised by Mr Sharon.
Ms Corrie's sister, Sarah Simpson Corrie, said yesterday that the lack of such an investigation had caused a "mounting battle" for the family in bringing the civil suit. Saying that she continued to look to the US government to press the case for a transparent investigation, she added: "You can't really expect the family to resolve the issue of a diplomatic promise. That is a matter for the governments – our's and Israel's."
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- < Previous
- Next >
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...