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> Rachel Corrie Killed by Israeli Bulldozer, March 16, 2003


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Posted: Mar 16 2004, 12:30 PM
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The murder of Rachel Corrie
One Year Ago Today
March 16, 2004

user posted image

Articles, Photographs And Writings
http://Rachel-Corrie.com



Israeli Bulldozer Driver Murders US Peace Activist
By Nigel Parry and Arjan El Fassed
The Electronic Intifada
March 16, 2003
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1248.shtml



Photographs Of 23 Year Old ISM Activist Rachel Corrie
Intentionally Crushed By An Israeli Bulldozer
http://www.indybay.org/news/2003/03/1583823.php


Advocating The End Of Israel's Occupation Of The West Bank And Gaza
http://www.palsolidarity.org


The Stop The Wall Campaign
http://www.stopthewall.org




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Mar 29 2005, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE
Pictures of 23 year old ISM activist Rachel Corrie -- crushed by an Israeli bulldozer
Monday, Mar. 17, 2003 at 12:21 AM

user posted image

Greg Schnabel, 28, from Chicago, said the protesters were in the house of Dr. Samir Masri.

"Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," he said. "She waved for the bulldozer to stop and waved. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled "stop, stop," and the bulldozer didn't stop at all. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her." - from Ha'aretz

user posted image

From this photo, there can be no doubt that the Israeli bulldozer driver could clearly see Rachel and that this was no accident.

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

Rachel's skull and rib cage were totally crushed by the US made and Israeli manned bulldozer (which is a US taxpayer's gift to Israel).

user posted image

http://www.indybay.org/news/2003/03/1583823.php




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Mar 29 2005, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE
Rachel Corrie
March 16, 2003: A 23-year-old American girl, Rachel Corrie was killed when an IDF bulldozer ran over her in the Gaza Strip in broad daylight and then backed up, crushing her body the second time.


Tom Hurndall
April 11, 2003: Taysir al-Heib, an Israel Defense Forces soldier, shot Tom Hurndall in the head with a snipers rifle. Tom Hurndall lay comatose for 9 months before he died. He was a British peace activist working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Gaza. Witnesses said Hurndall, 22, had been helping Palestinian children avoid IDF tanks.


Brian Avery
Israeli soldiers shot 24-year-old Bryan Avery from New Mexico who had been working as part of the ISM group in the West Bank city of Jenin.


James Miller
On Friday May 2, 2003, Israeli occupation forces gunned down James Miller, a freelance British television journalist while he filmed the  demolition of Palestinian houses in the southern town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Mar 29 2005, 04:38 PM
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QUOTE
Rachel Corrie: American Taxpayer-Funded Murder
UK Guardian with comments by SOTT

Two years ago, a young American woman was callously murdered by the driver of an Israeli Defence Forces bulldozer, paid for with US tax dollars.

Rachel Corrie was attempting to protect Palestinians whose homes were being demolished by the Israelis. She stood peacefully in front of the bulldozer wearing a bright orange jacket. There was no way that the driver did not see her.

Given that the driver formed part of an Israeli army operation, it is highly likely that he was given a direct order to run over Rachel.

The image of Rachel's crushed body is a haunting reminder of the reality of life in occupied Palestine and the brutal and inhuman treatment meted out by Ariel Sharon and George Bush to innocent Palestinian people on a daily basis. Of course, few Americans are aware of this reality, and even fewer are aware of the US government-sanctioned murder of Rachel Corrie.

Why?

Because, at the time, the American mainstream press failed to run the story. Check for yourself. Go to Google.com, type in her name, and run a news search. Find one mainstream US media outlet that has any information on the circumstances of her death.

Two years ago, the Guardian newspaper published emails from Rachel to her family in the US while she was in Palestine. They provide us with an inside, first-hand account of the reality on the ground in Israeli-occupied Palestine. Rachel Corrie paid with her life for her attempts to expose it.


Some of Rachels Emails:

QUOTE
Rachel's war
Tuesday March 18, 2003
The Guardian


February 7 2003

Hi friends and family, and others,

I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see. It is most difficult for me to think about what's going on here when I sit down to write back to the United States. Something about the virtual portal into luxury. I don't know if many of the children here have ever existed without tank-shell holes in their walls and the towers of an occupying army surveying them constantly from the near horizons. I think, although I'm not entirely sure, that even the smallest of these children understand that life is not like this everywhere. An eight-year-old was shot and killed by an Israeli tank two days before I got here, and many of the children murmur his name to me - Ali - or point at the posters of him on the walls. The children also love to get me to practice my limited Arabic by asking me, "Kaif Sharon?" "Kaif Bush?" and they laugh when I say, "Bush Majnoon", "Sharon Majnoon" back in my limited arabic. (How is Sharon? How is Bush? Bush is crazy. Sharon is crazy.) Of course this isn't quite what I believe, and some of the adults who have the English correct me: "Bush mish Majnoon" ... Bush is a businessman. Today I tried to learn to say, "Bush is a tool", but I don't think it translated quite right. But anyway, there are eight-year-olds here much more aware of the workings of the global power structure than I was just a few years ago.

Nevertheless, no amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can't imagine it unless you see it - and even then you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality: what with the difficulties the Israeli army would face if they shot an unarmed US citizen, and with the fact that I have money to buy water when the army destroys wells, and the fact, of course, that I have the option of leaving. Nobody in my family has been shot, driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end of a major street in my hometown. I have a home. I am allowed to go see the ocean. When I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily armed soldier waiting halfway between Mud Bay and downtown Olympia at a checkpoint with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get home again when I'm done.

As an afterthought to all this rambling, I am in Rafah: a city of about 140,000 people, approximately 60% of whom are refugees - many of whom are twice or three times refugees. Today, as I walked on top of the rubble where homes once stood, Egyptian soldiers called to me from the other side of the border, "Go! Go!" because a tank was coming. And then waving and "What's your name?". Something disturbing about this friendly curiosity. It reminded me of how much, to some degree, we are all kids curious about other kids. Egyptian kids shouting at strange women wandering into the path of tanks. Palestinian kids shot from the tanks when they peak out from behind walls to see what's going on. International kids standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously - occasionally shouting and also occasionally waving - many forced to be here, many just agressive - shooting into the houses as we wander away.

I've been having trouble accessing news about the outside world here, but I hear an escalation of war on Iraq is inevitable. There is a great deal of concern here about the "reoccupation of Gaza". Gaza is reoccupied every day to various extents but I think the fear is that the tanks will enter all the streets and remain here instead of entering some of the streets and then withdrawing after some hours or days to observe and shoot from the edges of the communities. If people aren't already thinking about the consequences of this war for the people of the entire region then I hope you will start.

My love to everyone. My love to my mom. My love to smooch. My love to fg and barnhair and sesamees and Lincoln School. My love to Olympia.

Rachel


February 27 2003

(To her mother)

Love you. Really miss you. I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again - a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded. Jenny and I stayed in the house with several women and two small babies. It was our mistake in translation that caused him to think it was his house that was being exploded. In fact, the Israeli army was in the process of detonating an explosive in the ground nearby - one that appears to have been planted by Palestinian resistance.

This is in the area where Sunday about 150 men were rounded up and contained outside the settlement with gunfire over their heads and around them, while tanks and bulldozers destroyed 25 greenhouses - the livelihoods for 300 people. The explosive was right in front of the greenhouses - right in the point of entry for tanks that might come back again. I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank. This happens every day, but just this father walking out with his two little kids just looking very sad, just happened to get my attention more at this particular moment, probably because I felt it was our translation problems that made him leave.

I thought a lot about what you said on the phone about Palestinian violence not helping the situation. Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed - the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border. I think it is maybe official now that Rafah is the poorest place in the world. There used to be a middle class here - recently. We also get reports that in the past, Gazan flower shipments to Europe were delayed for two weeks at the Erez crossing for security inspections. You can imagine the value of two-week-old cut flowers in the European market, so that market dried up. And then the bulldozers come and take out people's vegetable farms and gardens. What is left for people? Tell me if you can think of anything. I can't.

If any of us had our lives and welfare completely strangled, lived with children in a shrinking place where we knew, because of previous experience, that soldiers and tanks and bulldozers could come for us at any moment and destroy all the greenhouses that we had been cultivating for however long, and did this while some of us were beaten and held captive with 149 other people for several hours - do you think we might try to use somewhat violent means to protect whatever fragments remained? I think about this especially when I see orchards and greenhouses and fruit trees destroyed - just years of care and cultivation. I think about you and how long it takes to make things grow and what a labour of love it is. I really think, in a similar situation, most people would defend themselves as best they could. I think Uncle Craig would. I think probably Grandma would. I think I would.

You asked me about non-violent resistance.

When that explosive detonated yesterday it broke all the windows in the family's house. I was in the process of being served tea and playing with the two small babies. I'm having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach a lot from being doted on all the time, very sweetly, by people who are facing doom. I know that from the United States, it all sounds like hyperbole. Honestly, a lot of the time the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the wilful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me. I really can't believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it.

It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be. I felt after talking to you that maybe you didn't completely believe me. I think it's actually good if you don't, because I do believe pretty much above all else in the importance of independent critical thinking. And I also realise that with you I'm much less careful than usual about trying to source every assertion that I make. A lot of the reason for that is I know that you actually do go and do your own research. But it makes me worry about the job I'm doing. All of the situation that I tried to enumerate above - and a lot of other things - constitutes a somewhat gradual - often hidden, but nevertheless massive - removal and destruction of the ability of a particular group of people to survive. This is what I am seeing here.

The assassinations, rocket attacks and shooting of children are atrocities - but in focusing on them I'm terrified of missing their context. The vast majority of people here - even if they had the economic means to escape, even if they actually wanted to give up resisting on their land and just leave (which appears to be maybe the less nefarious of Sharon's possible goals), can't leave. Because they can't even get into Israel to apply for visas, and because their destination countries won't let them in (both our country and Arab countries). So I think when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can't get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide. Even if they could get out, I think it would still qualify as genocide. Maybe you could look up the definition of genocide according to international law. I don't remember it right now. I'm going to get better at illustrating this, hopefully. I don't like to use those charged words. I think you know this about me. I really value words. I really try to illustrate and let people draw their own conclusions.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: "This is the wide world and I'm coming to it." I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide. More big explosions somewhere in the distance outside.

When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I've ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.

I love you and Dad. Sorry for the diatribe. OK, some strange men next to me just gave me some peas, so I need to eat and thank them.

Rachel


February 28 2003

(To her mother)

Thanks, Mom, for your response to my email. It really helps me to get word from you, and from other people who care about me.

After I wrote to you I went incommunicado from the affinity group for about 10 hours which I spent with a family on the front line in Hi Salam - who fixed me dinner - and have cable TV. The two front rooms of their house are unusable because gunshots have been fired through the walls, so the whole family - three kids and two parents - sleep in the parent's bedroom. I sleep on the floor next to the youngest daughter, Iman, and we all shared blankets. I helped the son with his English homework a little, and we all watched Pet Cemetery, which is a horrifying movie. I think they all thought it was pretty funny how much trouble I had watching it. Friday is the holiday, and when I woke up they were watching Gummy Bears dubbed into Arabic. So I ate breakfast with them and sat there for a while and just enjoyed being in this big puddle of blankets with this family watching what for me seemed like Saturday morning cartoons. Then I walked some way to B'razil, which is where Nidal and Mansur and Grandmother and Rafat and all the rest of the big family that has really wholeheartedly adopted me live. (The other day, by the way, Grandmother gave me a pantomimed lecture in Arabic that involved a lot of blowing and pointing to her black shawl. I got Nidal to tell her that my mother would appreciate knowing that someone here was giving me a lecture about smoking turning my lungs black.) I met their sister-in-law, who is visiting from Nusserat camp, and played with her small baby.

Nidal's English gets better every day. He's the one who calls me, "My sister". He started teaching Grandmother how to say, "Hello. How are you?" In English. You can always hear the tanks and bulldozers passing by, but all of these people are genuinely cheerful with each other, and with me. When I am with Palestinian friends I tend to be somewhat less horrified than when I am trying to act in a role of human rights observer, documenter, or direct-action resister. They are a good example of how to be in it for the long haul. I know that the situation gets to them - and may ultimately get them - on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity - laughter, generosity, family-time - against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death. I felt much better after this morning. I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances - which I also haven't seen before. I think the word is dignity. I wish you could meet these people. Maybe, hopefully, someday you will.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,917893,00.html




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Apr 15 2005, 02:38 PM
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No justice for James Miller either.

QUOTE
Israel clears officer of killing journalist who had white flag
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
15 April 2005

The British government formally protested to Israel after the army officer who opened fire when the film-maker James Miller was shot dead in Gaza two years ago was acquitted of disciplinary charges.

The decision by the head of Israel's Southern Command to clear the officer overturned a recommendation by the military advocate general that he should be severely disciplined. Mr Miller was killed in Rafah in 2003 while walking back to his lodgings displaying a white flag and clearly identifying himself to troops as a journalist.

The officer acquitted yesterday has admitted opening fire and a 79-page report by Brigadier-General Avihai Mandelblit, the advocate general, held that the first lieutenant in the Bedouin Desert Reconnaissance Battalion had fired in clear breach of army rules of engagement.

Mr Miller's widow Sophy said the decision "makes a mockery of Israeli claims that they follow due process where IDF soldiers have acted criminally and outside their own rules of engagement".

Mr Miller's family had been bitterly disappointed when they were told at a meeting with General Mandleblit in Tel Aviv last month that the officer would not be prosecuted because of a lack of ballistic evidence proving the bullet which killed Mr Miller came from the officer's weapon. But they - and British officials - were assured that the advocate general was recommending a stiff disciplinary sentence.

Baroness Symons, the Foreign Office minister, has summoned Zvi Heifetz, the Israeli ambassador in London, on Monday to protest at the decision and urge that it be reversed, a message also strongly conveyed in a letter last night by Simon McDonald, the British ambassador in Tel Aviv, in a letter to Shaul Mofaz, Israel's Defence Minister.

Yesterday, Baroness Symons said she was "shocked and saddened" by the decision by the Brigadier-General Guy Tzur, the Southern Command chief of staff. The Israeli army said General Tzur decided that under the conditions then - including "frequent terrorist attacks; thick darkness and earlier that same day the soldiers were fired at by anti-tank missiles" - the shooting was "reasonable". The family's lawyers are seeking reversal of the decision. .

Mr Miller, an award-winning documentary maker who had been working on a film about Palestinian children caught up in the conflict, was shot while walking openly with two colleagues to their apartment.

They were carrying a white flag with a torch shone on it, their helmets were clearly marked "TV" and they called out that they were British journalists as they approached an armoured personnel carrier to ask permission to leave. Israeli claims of heavy fire between Palestinians and Israeli troops at the time were disproved because an Associated Press cameraman filmed the incident.

Mrs Miller said the family believed there had been no "genuine will" to uncover the truth because the site of the shooting had not been secured for forensic investigation. It was bulldozed three days later and Israeli authorities took 11 weeks to impound the guns involved in Mr Miller's death for ballistic examination.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle...sp?story=629505




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Apr 30 2005, 06:10 PM
Quote Post
More on James Miller case...

QUOTE
Israeli Army Lied About Killing UK Filmmaker: Report
April 24, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) 

CAIRO, – Israeli soldiers lied and tampering with evidence in an attempt to obstruct an inquiry into the killing of a British filmmaker, according to leaked documents published by The Observer on Sunday, April 24.

"Evidence shows that Second Lieutenant H. heard his soldiers lying in their testimonies during the investigation, and unfortunately did not mention that fact to his commanders, that his soldiers are giving them details that are not true," said a 79-page report by the chief lawyer of the Israeli army's southern command into the shooting of James Miller in the Gaza Strip.

The version of events offered by the soldier originally implicated in the shooting, identified only as Second Lieutenant H, were so contradictory that his accounts were described in the report as coming "full circle".

Miller, 34-year-old award-winning television journalist, was shot dead in the town of Rafah near the Egyptian border in May 2003 as he was filming a stand-up for a documentary on the Israeli army's demolition of hundreds of homes in the Palestinian territories.

His crew said they were carrying a white flag and identified themselves as British media to Israeli troops in the area, but as they left a Palestinian home they were fired upon and a bullet struck Miller in the neck, between his helmet and bullet-proof vest.

An autopsy carried out in Israel with a British doctor present found that the freelance journalist was hit by a bullet from an M-16 assault rifle fired by Israeli soldiers facing him.

His father, Geoffrey, said that "by allowing vital evidence to be tampered with, the Israeli army was complicit in my son's murder".

Cover-up

According to the report, all the soldiers interviewed changed their testimonies from accounts given to an earlier inquiry by the military police.

"Their versions paint a poor picture, to say the least," it states.

"Not only that there are differences and contradictions between one soldier's version to another soldier's version, but there are also contradictions and differences within one soldier's testimony itself, many times in the same version one could not find any coherence."

By contrast, army lawyers said all journalists and Palestinian witnesses interviewed gave reliable accounts.

According to the report, the barrel of the rifle understood to have been used in the shooting two years ago was changed.

It maintained that rifles submitted as part of the investigation could not have been those used in the shooting because it was "impossible" that bullets found at the scene in Rafah belonged to the weapons surrendered.

"It is important to point out that during the investigation a concern was raised, based on intelligence information, that some of the soldiers later changed the barrel they used during the event with a different barrel," said the report.

More evidence of a cover-up is underlined by the disappearance of videotapes that would have been recorded by the army's observation system and may have filmed Miller's death.

"Despite several attempts to locate them, the tapes from 3 May 2003 have never been found", said the report.

Mockery

Miller's widow condemned as a "mockery" of justice the Israeli army earlier decision not to take action against the officer accused of responsibility over the fatal shooting.

"It shows that Israeli military activities in Gaza are carried out with impunity," Sophie Miller, 34, said in a statement.

"We deplore the total failure to hold anyone responsible for the most serious breaches of Israeli rules of engagement."

The widow also accused the Israeli forces of having no interest in establishing the facts surrounding the killing.

"We believed at the outset there was no genuine will to uncover the truth because the site of James's death was not secured for forensic investigation; the site was destroyed by bulldozers three days after James's death; it took the Israelis 11 weeks to impound the guns involved in James's death," she said.

The Israeli army's judge advocate general had argued that there was insufficient evidence to press charges against the officer.

An Israeli army investigation into the death of 23-year-old American Rachel Corrie concluded that her being crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah in March 2003 had been an accident.

Tom Hurndall, a 22-year-old British activist, died of critical head injuries from a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier in Rafah in April 2003 as he was trying to pull Palestinian children out of danger.

In November 22, Israeli occupation forces gunned down Ian Hook, a British UN worker in Jenin refugee camp.

Three British lawmakers had also accused Israeli troops of firing at them twice during a UN-supervised fact-finding mission in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.

Signs Comment: Considering that this documentary film-maker was shot in the neck while wearing a protective helmet and bulletproof vest suggests that his killing was a deliberate targeted assassination by an IDF sniper in order to silence his film about ongoing Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes.

http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/20...article06.shtml




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jun 27 2005, 07:33 PM
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QUOTE
Israeli Soldier Convicted In British Activist's Death
By Amos Harel and Yuval Yoaz
Haaretz Correspondents and The Associated Press
Haaretz.com
6-27-5

A military court on Monday found former Israel Defense Forces soldier Taysir al-Heib guilty of the manslaughter of British activist Thomas Hurndall, who he shot in the head in the Gaza Strip two years ago.
 
The IDF court also found al-Heib guilty of obstruction of justice and giving false testimony.

Al-Heib, a former member of the Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion, was accused of shooting Hurndall in the head during an army operation in the Gaza Strip in April 2003. Witnesses said Hurndall, 22, had been helping Palestinian children avoid IDF tanks.
 
The incident took place in the Rafah refugee camp, where Hurndall, a student, was photographing the work of International Solidarity Movement activists. ISM members often place themselves between IDF troops and Palestinians in an effort to prevent military operations.

'Confused and even pathetic' testimony
The court found that the defendant had shot Hurndall with a sniper's rifle, using a telescopic sight, and that al-Heib had given a "confused and even pathetic" version of events to the court.

The court referred to a confession by the defendant, in which he said he wanted to teach Hurndall a lesson for entering a forbidden zone. Al-Heib admitted to aiming 10 centimeters to the left of Hurndall's head to frighten him, but had inadvertently shot the activist.
 
"From that moment, Sergeant al-Heib began a broad campaign of lies and falsehoods to throw off the expected investigation and to exonnerate himself of any guilt," according to the verdict.

The defendant also was convicted of obstruction of justice, one count of submitting false testimony, obtaining false testimony and unbecoming behavior. Al-Heib, who is to be sentenced in mid-August, faces up to 20 years in prison. 

Brother petitions against denial of entry
William Hurndall, Thomas' brother, arrived in Israel early Monday along with his father but was held at the airport by immigration authorities due to "security reasons, though his father was present at the court when the verdict was read out.

He filed an urgent petition with the Tel Aviv Administrative Tribunal through attorney Avigdor Feldman, in order to be allowed into the country.

Interior Ministry representative advised William he was allowed into Israel only under certain conditions: That his stay was limited to 24 hours, he travelled accompanied by an official representative of the British embassy and pledged not to enter the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.

© Copyright 2005 Haaretz. All rights reserved
 
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/592856.html




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