Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Brief Outline Of Key Findings Of The Verdict in the Corrie Case

Yesterday, I posted an English Summary of the Rachel Corrie Verdict.

Here is an outline of the points made by Judge Oded Gershon in the suit brought by the Corrie family against the government of Israel.

While the apologists for Palestinian terrorists and anti-Israel groups like the International Solidarity Movement have insisted that Israel acts with impunity -- when you take away the incendiary rhetoric with which these groups attack and demonize Israel, and look at the facts, it is clear that what happened was a tragedy that could easily have been averted.

And that Israel is not to blame.

Here is the outline of the English summary of the verdict:

  • The area of the incident:
    1. The area where Rachel Corrie died,  the "Philadelphi Corridor" was the site of daily warfare
    2. There was a military directive in force that the "Philadelphi Corridor" was a "closed military area" forbidden to civilians.
    3. ISM activities included "defending" Palestinian families, including those engaged in terror activities.
    4. The mission of the IDF force on the day of the incident was solely to clear the ground in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists as a "war-related action" -- and did not include the demolition of homes.
    5. The IDF soldiers informed the activists that they had to leave the area, threw stun grenades towards them, fired warning shots and used other methods to disperse demonstrations. They stayed.
    6. Because of the activists' interference, the IDF repeatedly relocated to continue carrying out their mission.

  • What actually happened:
    1. Based on evidence that includes the testimony of the expert for the prosecution, Mr. Osben, the field of vision of the bulldozer's operator was limited and the decedent was in the "blind spot".
    2. Corrie was behind the bulldozer's blade in addition to being behind a pile of dirt, preventing the operator from seeing her.
    3. When Corrie saw the pile of dirt moving towards her, instead of moving out of the way, she climbed the pile of dirt, and became trapped in the dirt and fell.
    4. She was not completely covered and when the bulldozer backed up, she was seen trying to free herself and was still alive.
    5. Rachel Corrie as brought to the hospital, where after 20 minutes she was declared dead.

  • The Corries claimed there was evidentiary damage because the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) investigation was sloppy and unprofessional. However, the Corries themselves objected to submitting the full file of the investigation as evidence, even though the Israeli government agreed to do so -- thus preventing the actual file from being introduced in court to prove their point.

  • The Corries also claimed the Institute for Forensic Medicine was responsible for evidentiary damage because of the violation of the judicial order for a representative and the destruction of the recording documenting the decedent's autopsy:
    1. But it was the CID that wanted the autopsy -- Mr. Corrie testified the family did not want one.
    2. The autopsy was conducted, with the family's agreement, without a consular representative and the US Consulate sent a fax confirming that the autopsy could be conducted without a representative from the family.
    3. The family did not conduct any additional examinations after receiving the Rachel Corrie's body and the body was cremated
    4. The audio recording of the autopsy does not exist anymore because, due to budgetary problems, the Institute of Forensic Medicine recycles tapes

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