Israeli Military Investigator Admits Failures in Military Investigation of Rachel Corrie Killing

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Yesterday, March 17, 2010, the Haifa District Court saw the fourth day of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel Corrie, an American human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer.

She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles.

An Israeli military police investigator, who was part of the team that investigated Rachel’s killing, testified today. In his testimony, he stated:

  • He never inspected the site where the killing occurred; nor did he ever sit inside the D9 bulldozer to see for himself the view the driver had and what the field of vision was.
  • He admitted that the Israeli military’s D9 bulldozer regulations state that the D9s should not be operated with civilians in close proximity. He failed to question the bulldozer driver about these regulations or make them part of the military police investigation file.
  • He received a court order authorizing Rachel’s autopsy under the condition that an official from the U.S. Embassy is present, and at the time informed the court that the condition would be upheld. Subsequently, he made no effort to ensure that this condition was upheld, nor does he know if anyone else did, stating he did not consider the follow-up his responsibility. He also failed to forward the final autopsy report to the court, even though this was required, stating that his commander did not require him to do so and that he simply did not pay attention to the court order. Dr. Hiss ultimately performed the autopsy without an American Embassy official present.
  • To his knowledge, no ISM member was arrested on the afternoon of March 16 for interfering with Israeli military activities.

American eyewitness Gregory Schnabel, the fourth and last eye-witness called to testify, also testified today, providing his account of the killing of Ms. Corrie. Gregory testified that he saw Rachel climb to the top of the pile of dirt being pushed by the bulldozer and that she was visible to the driver.

He also testified that a bulldozer had come close to himself and another ISM member that afternoon, stopping just short of hitting them, which led him to believe that the demonstrators were visible to the driver.

The trial will resume on Sunday, March 21, 2010, at 9 a.m. at the district court in Haifa.

For more information, visit: http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/trial

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Johnny Punish founded VT in 2004.  After 20 years at the helm, he "retired" from the daily operations in late 2023 passing the ball over to the new owner of VT, Chief Justin Time.   He now writes for VT as "Writer Emeritus".  He is also a global citizen eco-activist, visionary, musician, artist, entertainer, businessman, investor, life coach, podcast host, and syndicated columnist.   Punish is an ethnically cleansed Palestinian-American whose maternal family was evicted from their home in Haifa, Palestine in 1948 by Irgun; a Euro-Zionist Settler Terrorist Group.  The family became part of the over 1,000,000 Palestinians who are Al-Nakba refugees (The Catastrophe).  The family fled to Beirut Lebanon for 13 years eventually emigrating to the USA in 1961 via a Brasilian passport obtained by his Palestinian Brasilian-born grandmother (In the early 1900s, the family was sent to Sao Paolo Brasil as guest workers in the mining industry.  Punish's father is Italian-American from New York City.  Punish's paternal great-grandparents emigrated to the USA from Naples Italy and Marineo in Sicily in the 1890s.  Punish was born in the Bronx, New York in 1963. Punish was educated at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (1980-81) and California State University Fullerton (1981-1984) with studies in accounting and business. Before the "internets" had been invented, he owned and ran (5) national newspapers in the United States of America from 1987-1998.  From 2004 to 2023, he owned and managed VT Foreign Policy retiring at the end of 2023. Punish is also a recording artist.  He has over 100 original songs written. He records and produces music. A member of ASCAP, Punish has several songs placed in feature films. His music is promoted worldwide and played on all digital networks and net radio. He is also the founder and owner of  Global Thinkers, a freedom media that helps free thinkers create real wealth. Resources: Facebook -  YouTube - Apple Music - SoundCloud - Spotify -  X (Twitter) Read Johnny's Full Bio at JohnnyPunish.com >>>