Friday, March 19, 2010

West Bank street named for Rachel Corrie

West Bank street named for dead US activist


Photo: AP

On seventh anniversary of her death, Ramallah street named after Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by IDF bulldozer as she stood in machine's path in act of protest against house demolitions in Gaza

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Palestinians in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday named a street after a US activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in a 2003 protest against house demolitions in Gaza.

The dedication ceremony was held on the seventh anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death.

Corrie's mother, Cindy, said her daughter stood for many other foreign activists who have come to the West Bank and Gaza in recent years to serve as a buffer between Palestinians and Israeli troops.

"I just wanted you to know ... that you do not stand alone," she told a small group of Palestinians, including the mayor and governor of Ramallah. "People are stepping up. They will not be silent."

On March 16, 2003, Corrie stood in the path of an armored Israeli bulldozer as it approached a Palestinian home targeted for demolition along Gaza's border with Egypt, part of an operation against smuggling tunnels.

The driver has said he didn't see Corrie, and the Israeli military has ruled her death an accident. Corrie's parents reject that version and have brought a civil suit against the Israeli government. The trial began last week in Haifa.

Corrie was an activist in the International Solidarity Movement, a group that sends foreigners into hot spots to assist Palestinians. Often they endanger themselves by standing between Israeli forces and Palestinians, trying to prevent soldiers from acting.

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