Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life."
Corries' lawyer Hussein Abu Hussein
An Israeli court has ruled that American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer during a protest in 2003, was not unlawfully killed.
The Israeli judge, Oded Gershon said the military was not at fault for the death of the pro-Palestinian activist and there was no “negligence on the part of the bulldozer driver.”
"I reject the suit," the judge at Haifa district court said. "There is no justification” to entail compensation.
Rachel was 23 when she was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer on March 16, 2003 while attempting to intervene in the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip.
However, other activists, who were at the scene on the day of the incident, said she had been clearly visible to the driver.
"She was standing on top of a pile of earth," fellow activist and eyewitness Richard Purssell, from Brighton, said at the time.
"The driver cannot have failed to see her. As the blade pushed the pile, the earth rose up. Rachel slid down the pile. It looks as if her foot got caught. The driver didn't slow down; he just ran over her. Then he reversed the bulldozer back over her again," Purssell added.
Corrie's parents, Craig and Cindy, filed the civil lawsuit in 2010, after they found that a military investigation into the incident has cleared the driver of the bulldozer of any blame.
The Israeli Army’s investigation, which was conducted in 2003, suggested that the American activist was not visible and that she was killed by the debris falling on her.
Speaking to reporters following the issuance of the court ruling, Cindy said, "I am hurt.”
"While not surprising, this verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness," said the Corries’ lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein.
"Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life,” he added.
From 2000 to 2004, the Israeli military demolished around 1,700 homes in Rafah, leaving about 17,000 people homeless, according to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem.