Max Blumenthal writes: In a small courtroom on the sixth floor of Haifa’s District Court, a colonel in the Israeli engineering corps who wrote a manual for the bulldozer units that razed the Rafah Refugee Camp in 2003 offered his opinion on the killing of the American activist Rachel Corrie.
“There are no civilians during wartime,” Yossi declared under oath.
Yossi made his remarkable statement under withering cross-examination by Hussein Abu Hussein, the lawyer for Corrie’s family, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah on 17 March 2003. Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy, and her sister, Sarah, stood in the back of the courtroom to witness the 2010 proceedings. This marked their second visit for the second round of hearings in their civil suit against the state of Israel. Yesterday, an Israeli court issued its final judgment and exculpated the Israeli soldier who drove the bulldozer, the Army, and the State for all blame. Instead, the court held that Rachel bore responsibility for her own death for failing to move out of the bulldozer’s way.
In the immediate wake of Corrie’s killing, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, then the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, instructed Corrie’s parents to demand a “thorough, fair and transparent investigation” from the Israeli government. Since then, the Israelis have stonewalled them, refusing to provide key details of their investigation, which was corrupted from the start by the investigators’ apparent attempts to find evidence that a bulldozer did not in fact kill Rachel. [Continue reading…]