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Rachel Corrie hearing at Supreme Court, Wed. May 21
Rachel Corrie Foundation


The Israeli Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday, May 21, at 11:30
a.m. in the wrongful death lawsuit against the State of Israel for the 2003
killing of American peace activist Rachel Corrie.

The appeal challenges the August 2012 district court ruling that the Israeli
military was not to blame for Rachel`s killing. The judge in the case adopted
the Israeli government`s controversial legal theory that the military should be
fully absolved of civil liability because soldiers were engaged in operational
activities in a war zone.

Lawyers for the Corrie family and for the Israeli Government will briefly
present their arguments, and a panel of three Supreme Court justices will
question both sides. The Corrie family, as well as representatives from the U.S.
Embassy and other international legal and human rights observers, will attend
the hearing. A decision will be announced in writing at an unknown future date.

Proceedings will be in Hebrew, so journalists should plan on bringing
translators to court. The Corrie family has requested court permission to hire
equipment to provide simultaneous translation, but is still awaiting the Court`s

A performance of My Name is Rachel Corrie, a play drawn from the diaries and e-
mails of Rachel and staged around the world, was presented Monday night at the
Arab-Hebrew Theatre in Jaffa, sponsored by The Coalition of Women for Peace.

Please visit
breaking updates, and an extensive body of news reports and related trial

For press related inquiries, please contact:


Phone: Stacy Sullivan (in Israel) at +972-54-280-7572 or +972-52-952-2143

Social Media:
Follow us on Twitter: @rcfoundation

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Rachel Corrie Foundation


Text oe earlier message:
Israeli Supreme Court to Hear Rachel Corrie Appeal on May 21
Posted in News and Updates, Trial, Trial Press Releases on May 12, 2014 by

Nine years after filing a civil suit against the State of Israel for the
wrongful death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, her family will have
their appeal heard before the Israeli Supreme Court on May 21 at 11:30 a.m. in
Jerusalem. The appeal, which will be argued by attorney Hussein Abu Hussein,
challenges the Haifa District Court’s August 2012 ruling which concluded that
the Israeli military was not responsible for Rachel’s death and that it
conducted a credible investigation.

“During the past nine years, we have sought accountability in the Israeli courts
for Rachel’s killing but were handed a verdict that showed blind indifference to
the rights of the victim and little interest in seeking truth and justice,” said
Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father.

The Corrie family appeal focuses on serious flaws in the lower court verdict
which erred by ignoring and misinterpreting essential facts and misapplying
legal norms. The appeal also

Corrie family and legal team August 28, 2012.
Courtesy the Rachel Corrie Foundation
challenges the lower court’s total disregard of international law obligations as
well as procedural advantages that were regularly granted to the state during
the proceedings. Lawyers for the Corries and the State of Israel have submitted
their arguments in writing to the panel of three justices – Deputy-President of
the Court Miriam Naor, Esther Hayut, and Zvi Zylbertal.

Speaking of his family’s hopes, Craig Corrie said, “It is a tragedy when the law
is broken, but far, far worse when it is abandoned altogether. The Supreme
Court now has a choice, to either show the world that the Israeli legal system
honors the most basic principles of human rights and can hold its military
accountable, or to add to mounting evidence that justice can not be found in

Rachel, a 23-year-old human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, was
crushed to death March 16, 2003, by an Israeli military bulldozer while
nonviolently protesting demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, Gaza.
The following day, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised President George
W. Bush a “thorough, credible, and transparent” investigation into Rachel’s
killing. In 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff informed the
Corrie family of the U.S. Government’s position that the Israeli investigation
did not meet these standards and advised them to “use the Israeli court system.”
The Corries filed suit in 2005, charging the State of Israel and its Ministry of
Defense with responsibility for Rachel’s killing.

The civil trial before Haifa District Court Judge Oded Gershon began March 10,
2010, and 23 witnesses testified in 15 hearings, spread over 16 months. Each
session was attended by the Corrie family, American Embassy officials, and
numerous legal and human rights observers.

Testimony exposed serious chain-of-command failures in relation to civilian
killings, as well as indiscriminate destruction of civilian property at the
hands of the Israeli military in southern Gaza. Four eyewitnesses from the
International Solidarity Movement (ISM) testified that Rachel was visible to
soldiers in the bulldozer as it approached. Military witnesses testified that
they saw ISM protesters in the area; and the on-site commander asked to stop
operations due to their presence, but was ordered to continue working. An
Israeli colonel testified that there are no civilians in war, and the lead
military police investigator, himself, stated his belief that the Israeli
military was at war with all in Gaza, including peace activists.

Testimony also revealed serious flaws in the military’s investigation into
Rachel’s killing. Investigators failed to question key military witnesses,
including those recording communications; failed to secure the military video,
allowing it to be taken for nearly a week by senior commanders with only
segments submitted to court; failed to address conflicting testimony given by
soldiers; and ignored damning statements in the military log confirming a “shoot
to kill” order and a command mentality to continue work in order to avoid
setting a precedent with international activists.

On August 28, 2012, Judge Gershon ruled against the Corrie family, handing down
a verdict stating the Israeli military was not to blame for Rachel’s death and
that she alone was responsible for her demise. The Judge lauded the military
police investigation and dismissed the case, adopting the Israeli Government’s
position that the military should be fully absolved of civil liability, because
soldiers were engaged in operational activities in a war zone.

The verdict was widely condemned by legal and human rights organizations
monitoring the case, citing misrepresentation of facts and the fundamental
principle of international humanitarian law – that in a time of war, military
forces are obligated to take all measures to avoid harm to both civilians and
their property. President Jimmy Carter stated that the court’s decision
confirmed “a climate of impunity, which facilitates Israeli human rights
violations against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Territory.”

Seating in the courtroom is limited, and members of the press are advised to
arrive early with press credentials. Proceedings will be in Hebrew. The family
is seeking permission from the Court to provide simultaneous translation for
court observers. However, pending the Court’s decision, journalists should make
plans to bring their own translator. Cameras and audio recording equipment will
not be permitted once proceedings begin. Photos may be taken before the judges
enter the room.

A performance of My Name is Rachel Corrie, a play drawn from the diaries and e-
mails of Rachel and staged around the world, will be presented in Hebrew on
Monday, May 19 at 21:00 at the Arab-Hebrew Theatre in Jaffa. It will be followed
by a panel discussion with the Corrie family, moderated by human rights lawyer
Michael Sfard. For more information, visit The Coalition of Women for Peace,
which is sponsoring the event.

Please visit
breaking updates, and an extensive body of news reports and related trial

For press related inquiries, please contact:


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