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News ::
US Peace Activist Killed by Israeli Bulldozer in Gaza Strip (english)
16 Mar 2003
Modified: 17 Mar 2003
This in from AP: GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - An American woman in Gaza to protest against Israeli operations was killed Sunday when she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer, witnesses and hospital officials said.
American Woman Peace Activist Killed by Israeli Army
by Ibrahim Barzak

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - An American woman in Gaza to protest against Israeli operations was killed Sunday when she was run over by an Israeli bulldozer, witnesses and hospital officials said.

Witnesses said Rachel Corrie, 23, from Olympia, Washington, was trying to stop the bulldozer from tearing down a building in the Rafah refugee camp, witnesses said, when she was run over. She was taken to Najar hospital in Rafah, where she died, said Dr. Ali Moussa, a hospital administrator.

Greg Schnabel, 28, from Chicago, said the protesters were in the house of Dr. Samir Masri. "Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," he said. "She waved for bulldozer to stop and waved. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled 'stop, stop', and the bulldozer didn't stop at all. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her," he said.

The Israeli military and the U.S. State Department had no immediate comment. Groups of international protesters have gathered in several locations in the West Bank and Gaza during two years of Palestinian violence, setting themselves up as "human shields" to try to stop Israeli operations there.

Corrie was the first member of the groups, called "International Solidarity Movement," to be killed in the conflict. Several have been arrested in previous clashes with Israeli forces, and Israeli authorities have deported some members.

Schnabel said there were eight protesters at the site, four from the United States and four from Great Britain. "We stay with families whose house is to be demolished," he told the Associated Press by telephone from Rafah after the incident. Witnesses said she was wearing a brightly-colored jacket when she was run over.

Schnabel said Corrie was a student at Evergreen College and was to graduate this year.

The International Solidarity Movement is backed by Palestinian groups. Mansour Abed Allah, 29, a Palestinian human rights worker in Rafah, witnessed the incident. He said the killing should be a message to the U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites), who is "providing Israel with tanks and bulldozers, and now they killed one of his own people."

Israel sends tanks and bulldozers into the area almost every day, destroying buildings near the Gaza-Egypt border. The Israelis say Palestinian gunmen use the buildings as cover, and arms-smuggling tunnels dug under the border terminate in the buildings.

According to interim peace accords, Israel controls the border area. There are almost daily clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers in the area.
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"a house" (english)
17 Mar 2003