Please email your local newspaper and tell them to feature this story. Contact the head of the foreign/world division of your local paper, and tell them that there are pictures showing that Rachel was murdered. The links are below: http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/rach1.jpg http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/rach2.jpg http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/rach3.jpg
** Note, I am note affliated with the organization. I believe that if we all push our newspapers to feature this story, more people will understand the truth about events in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
Israeli Bulldozer Kills U.S. Protester
Sun Mar 16, 5:05 PM ET
By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - An American college student in Gaza to protest Israel operations was killed Sunday when she was run over by a bulldozer while trying to block troops from demolishing a Palestinian home.
At least one Palestinian also was killed.
The killing of the student by the Israelis — the first of a foreign activist in 29 months of fighting — came as Israelis and Palestinians wrangled over the terms of a U.S.-backed plan to end the violence and establish a Palestinian state.
Rachel Corrie, 23, of Olympia, Wash., had been with U.S. and British demonstrators in the Rafah refugee camp trying to stop demolitions. She died in the hospital, said Dr. Ali Moussa, a hospital administrator.
"This is a regrettable accident," said Capt. Jacob Dallal, an army spokesman. "We are dealing with a group of protesters who were acting very irresponsibly, putting everyone in danger."
The army said soldiers were looking for explosives and tunnels used to smuggle weapons.
The United States "deeply regrets this tragic death of an American citizen," State Department spokesman Lou Fintor said.
He expressed condolences to Corrie's family and said the United States wants an "immediate and full investigation" into her death.
"We again call on the Israeli defense forces to undertake all possible measures to avoid harm to civilians," Fintor's statement said.
Greg Schnabel, 28, of Chicago, said four Americans and four Britons were trying to stop Israeli troops from destroying a building belonging to Dr. Samir Masri.
Israel for months has been tearing down houses of Palestinians it suspects in Islamic militant activity, saying such operations deter attacks on Israel such as suicide bombings.
"Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," Schnabel said. "She waved for the bulldozer to stop. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her."
She was wearing a brightly colored jacket when the bulldozer hit her.
Several Palestinians gathered at the site, and troops opened fire, killing one Palestinian, witnesses said. The army had no comment on that report.
Corrie was the first member of the Palestinian-backed "International Solidarity Movement" to be killed in a conflict that has claimed more than 2,200 Palestinian lives — about three times the toll on the Israeli side.
A student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Corrie would have graduated this year, Schnabel said.
Her killing should be a message to President Bush (news - web sites), who is "providing Israel with tanks and bulldozers, and now they killed one of his own people," said Mansour Abed Allah, 29, a Palestinian human rights worker who witnessed Corrie's death.
Several other U.S. citizens have been killed in Palestinian-Israeli violence. On March 5, Abigail Litle, 14, was killed in a Palestinian suicide bombing attack on a bus in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Last July, five Americans died in a bombing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Bush said Friday that a long-awaited "road map" for peace would be back on the table once Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) appointed a prime minister with real power — a process that appeared well under way last week.
But on Sunday, Arafat presented legislators with proposed changes to the Palestinian basic law approved last Monday that, according to a diplomatic source, that created the impression that a prime minister was not independent.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the move could thereby reduce any pressure on Israel to constructively engage the new Palestinian prime minister.
The road map worked out by the United States, European Union (news - web sites), United Nations (news - web sites) and Russia foresees Palestinian statehood by 2005 and an end to Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank and Gaza.
Bush has said that first, the Palestinians need to change their leadership, and the road map calls for Arafat to appoint an empowered prime minister.
While Arafat bowed to intense international pressure and agreed to share control with a new prime minister, Palestinian legislators said Sunday he was now asking for amendments in the law passed last week.
The most significant change was that Arafat wanted the ultimate say in the creation of a new Palestinian Cabinet, suggesting he could have veto power over candidates nominated by the new prime minister. He also asked for the right to chair Cabinet meetings, said legislators.
The 88-member Palestinian Legislative Council was to meet Monday to discuss the proposed changes. If agreement is reached, legislators are expected to approve the appointment of Arafat's longtime deputy, Mahmoud Abbas, as premier.
Meanwhile, Israel pressed ahead with its proposals over key phrases in the draft "road map." According to the Haaretz newspaper, Israel wants to replace all references to an "independent" Palestinian state with the term "certain attributes of sovereignty," noting that such a state has to be "credible" and "law abiding."
Israeli officials had no immediate comment on the report, which cited anonymous Israeli sources.
The Palestinians say U.S. officials have assured them that no more changes will be made in the document.
In phase one of the draft, Palestinians would carry out government reforms and crack down on militants, while Israel would withdraw from Palestinian towns. Israel would then recognize an interim Palestinian state. Negotiations on full statehood would come in stage three.
Each phase is laden with obstacles. If Arafat fails to appoint a prime minister with real power, Israel could refuse to end its occupation of West Bank towns and villages. To date, Arafat has failed to rein in militants.
American peace activist killed by army bulldozer
IDF expresses `regret'; State Department `assessing' reports
By Haaretz Staff
A 23-year-old American woman, Rachel Corrie, a college student from Olympia, Washington who belonged to the International Solidarity Movement in the territories, was killed yesterday by an IDF bulldozer during a house demolition in Rafah.
Israeli officials expressed "regret" over the incident to American officials, sources in Jerusalem said, and in Washington, a State Department statement said it had received reports of the incident, and was "assessing the situation."
The ISM activist was taking part in protest efforts yesterday afternoon in Rafah, to prevent the army from demolishing houses in a strip of land a few hundred meters wide between the Rafah refugee camp and the nearby Egyptian border, in an effort to block smuggling from Egypt.
According to eyewitnesses, a routine IDF demolition operation was underway in the area, with two D-9 bulldozers and a tank as protection. They destroyed three buildings that were already partially destroyed and a number of walls. The ISM activists then deployed in the area and used bullhorns to call on the drivers to stop. According to ISM activists, at one stage the IDF forces left the area and took up positions near the border, a few hundred meters away.
But around 5 P.M., the force returned, and the activists assumed the bulldozers were on their way to other houses. "They began demolishing one house," said an ISM activist, who said his name was Richard. "We gathered around and called out to them and went into the house, so they backed out. During the entire time they knew who we were and what we were doing, because they didn't shoot at us. We stood in their way and shouted. There were about eight of us in an area about 70 square meters. Suddenly, we saw they turned to a house they had started to demolish before, and I saw Rachel standing in the way of the front bulldozer."
According to the ISM activist, Corrie was wearing a bright jacket and climbed onto the bulldozer shovel-plow and began shouting at the driver. "There's no way he didn't see her, since she was practically looking into the cabin. At one stage, he turned around toward the building. The bulldozer kept moving, and she slipped and fell off the plow. But the bulldozer kept moving, the shovel above her. I guess it was about 10 or 15 meters that it dragged her and for some reason didn't stop. We shouted like crazy to the driver through loudspeakers that he should stop, but he just kept going and didn't lift the shovel. Then it stopped and backed up. We ran to Rachel. She was still breathing."
According to the activists, the tank arrived on the scene and was only 20 meters away, but the soldiers did not offer any assistance. A little while later, the heavy equipment pulled away, and a Red Crescent ambulance took the badly injured woman to Abu Yusef Najar Hospital in Rafah, where she was declared dead on arrival. A second activist was slightly injured. The destroyed house belonged to Dr. Samir Nasrallah.
Army sources said the demolitions were meant to prevent sabotage along the Philadelphi road parallel to the Egyptian border. The sources said the bulldozer driver deviated from the track and apparently was moving a block of concrete that hit the woman.
The ISM is an international pacifist movement that draws its inspiration from a quote by Albert Einstein: "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
Since the start of the intifada, hundreds of the foreigners, mostly students, have taken a rigorous course in nonviolent theory and practice and then been placed in Palestinian towns and villages, where they report on events at checkpoints, villages under curfew and house demolitions, help move humanitarian aid into besieged areas, and accompanying ailing Palestinians to hospitals. As non-Palestinians, they enjoy a certain measure of immunity - Corrie was the first ISM casualty in the nearly 30 months of intifada.