The Death of Rachel Corrie — March 16, 2003
My Name is Rachel Corrie is a simplistic, incomplete, one-sided portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The show, based on Rachel's diaries and letters, does not attempt or claim to be an objective or balanced report from the region. It contains many factual errors and myths. [More...]
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-run organization that lures its members into war zones to act as human shields in obstructing counter-terrorism efforts.
The ISM describes itself as a peaceful humanitarian group, but in reality it is sympathetic to terrorist tactics and lures well-intentioned, idealistic young adults to the Palestinian Territories to promote its anti-Israel views. The ISM then knowingly leads its members into war zones, placing them directly in harm's way as human shields in an attempt to obstruct Israel's counterterrorism operations. [More...]
Rachel Corrie's death was a tragic accident.
On March 16, 2003, Rachel, acting as a human shield, attempted to deter bulldozers clearing brush and earth around homes in Rafah. According to a witness, Rachel slipped as she moved in front of the bulldozer, fell in front of the slow moving blade and was crushed by unearthed debris. An investigation, which included extensive interrogation of the driver and his commanders, using polygraphs and video evidence, revealed that the driver's view had been obstructed by the debris and by the bulldozer’s protective driver cage. An autopsy confirmed that the bulldozer had not touched Rachel. [More...]
Gaza was, and still is today, a hotbed and source of violent terrorism against Israeli civilians.
Between 2000 and early 2003, hundreds of Israeli men, women and children had been murdered and thousands were injured in suicide bombings and other attacks by Palestinian terrorist groups. Israel had escalated its military operations against Palestinian terrorist groups and infrastructure in 2002 and 2003 in an effort to protect Israeli citizens from terrorist violence. [More...]
Israel wants peace and has made sacrifices and territorial concessions in its quest for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Israel has always sought long-lasting peace with its Arab neighbors. Israel gave up all of the Sinai Peninsula in 1982 to achieve peace with Egypt, left its security zone in Lebanon in 2000, and withdrew soldiers and settlements from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. Israel remains ready to negotiate peace based on a two-state solution. [More...]
Rachel Corrie died in a tragic accident on March 16, 2003, while participating in dangerous activities orchestrated by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
The Incident took place in the “Military Installations Area,” a strip of land located along the Egyptian border, at the southern part of the Gaza Strip, also known as the Philadelphi Road. This area is considered a hostile battlefield to Israeli soldiers because of the number of attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists.
Between 2000 and March 2003, the Military Installations Area/Philadelphia Road experienced the highest level of Palestinian terrorist activities and was notorious for being the main channel for smuggling terrorists and weaponry into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from Egypt. Since September 2000, these terrorist activities included:
1,570 grenade attacks, using 5,715 grenades
1,360 live-fire machine gun and sniper attacks
184 anti-tank missile attacks
147 road-side explosive devices
41 mortar attacks
The ongoing IDF operations in the Military Installations Area/Philadelphi Road were meant to protect the border and prevent terrorist activities against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. These operations included:
Exposure and destruction of smuggling tunnels
Terrain leveling and clearing of debris and explosive devices
The D-9 Bulldozer
The D-9 armored bulldozer used by the IDF to clear terrain has an extremely limited field of vision.
Because of the height of the D-9 bulldozer—more than 4 meters/12 feet—the D-9 bulldozer operator has a limited line of sight and cannot see anything on the ground that is closer than 30 meters/90 feet.
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
Established in August 2001, the ISM implements provocative and illegal methods to operate against “Israeli occupation.” The ISM presence had been noted in the incident area since late 2002.
Other ISM activities reported by the AP include:
Three ISM members were arrested while trying to prevent Israel from building a security fence between Israel and the West Bank
10 ISM activists holed themselves up in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem with dozens of other Palestinian terrorists in May 2002 during a standoff with Israeli soldiers. Even after an agreement was reached, the activists refused to leave the church.
During an Israeli siege of Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah, several members of ISM sneaked past Israeli soldiers into the building.
The Incident – March 16, 2003
The IDF was engaged in a routine mission to level terrain and clear debris near the border, a preventative measure aimed at removing cover for terrorist attacks.
The IDF used two D-9 armored bulldozers and one command APC. Each bulldozer was manned by two IDF personnel: a commander and an operator, each of whom was an experienced bulldozer operator in his 30s.
On March 16, several ISM protestors entered a closed military zone and interfered in this routine mission. The IDF attempted to remove the protestors with shock grenades, tear gas and warning shots. After these multiple warnings and attempts to remove the protestors, the protestors still refused to leave the site.
ISM protestors claim that the driver of the IDF bulldozer saw Rachel Corrie standing in his path and ran over her deliberately. In fact:
The bulldozer driver did not see Rachel Corrie – and was not aware of her proximity to the bulldozer.
Rachel Corrie was standing behind an earth mound and was obscured from the bulldozer crew’s view.
There was no direct contact between the bulldozer and Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie’s death was a result of injuries she sustained when earth and debris accidentally fell on her.
The irresponsible and dangerous conduct of ISM activists—blatantly ignoring IDF warnings, refusing to leave the area, and purposely putting themselves in harm’s way—is a major factor leading to the tragic result of this incident.