Judge postpones verdict in Rachel Corrie case

7 years after the family of Rachel Corrie and their lawyer filed a lawsuit against Israel for the state’s responsibility in her killing in March 2003 — and 15 court hearings later — Judge Oded Gershon has postponed his verdict, which was scheduled for this month. The last court hearing was in July 2011.

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old activist with the International Solidarity Movement and was crushed to death by a US-made, Israeli-modified Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer as she attempted to protect the home of a physician and his family in the Philadelphi corridor in Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip. During that time, as The Electronic Intifada has reported, hundreds of homes were being demolished in that area by the Israeli military, in direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention

The Rachel Corrie Foundation issued a press release yesterday saying that the verdict “has been postponed due to delays in the filing of closing arguments,” and that a new date for the verdict has not yet been scheduled by the Haifa district court “but is likely to be months away.”

The press release added:

The lawsuit, filed in 2005 by attorney Hussein abu Hussein on behalf of the Corrie family, charges the State of Israel with responsibility for Rachel’s killing. Oral testimony in the case began March 10, 2010. There have since been 15 court hearings at which 23 witnesses testified, producing more than 2,000 pages of court transcripts. While all witnesses for the Corrie family testified openly, including four activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who were at the site where Rachel was killed, most government witnesses were identified only by their initials, and several testified behind a screen. 

Each hearing was attended by officials from the American Embassy, numerous observers from local and international legal and human rights organizations, and members of the Corrie family. 

The last court hearing was July 10, 2011. At that time, Judge Oded Gershon set the schedule for both sides to present written summations and closing arguments and announced he would render a verdict April 23, 2012. Multiple delays in the summation process resulted in the postponement.

Scheduling updates will be posted to the Rachel Corrie Foundation website as soon as additional information is available. Please visit the Trial Update page of the Rachel Corrie Foundation website for updates, last minute changes to the court schedule, and related trial information.



Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).