Israeli Court Exonerates IDF in Corrie Death

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Haifa District Court Judge Oded Gershon ruled against a civil suit submitted by the family of the late Rachel Corrie, alleging criminal negligence by the Israel Defense Forces in her death in 2003.

Corrie died after being struck by a bulldozer during a protest organized by the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement near the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.

The suit, filed in 2005, alleges she was either intentionally killed or her death was a result of gross negligence on the part of the IDF.

The detailed ruling concluded the investigation "was not flawed in anyway," exonerated the IDF, and proved Rachel had endangered her own life when she knelt in front of the bulldozer out of the driver's view.

"The deceased put herself into a dangerous situation, standing in front of a large bulldozer in a place where the operator could not see her," the judge stated in the ruling.

Her death resulted from "an accident she brought on herself," he said.

Corrie's parents continue to believe the soldier either killed their daughter intentionally or with reckless negligence.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, her mother, Cindy Corrie, called it "a bad day not only for our family but for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel."

Hussein Abu Hussein, the family's attorney, said "the court has given a stamp of approval to harm innocent lives."

He said he planned to file an appeal with the High Court.

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