World Bulletin / News Desk
An Israeli court on Tuesday found Israeli troops not quilty for the 2003 killing of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip.
At the time of her death, during a Palestinian uprising, Corrie was protesting against Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
Corrie's family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter, launching a civil case in the northern Israeli city of Haifa after a military investigation had cleared the army of wrong-doing.
Judge Oded Gershon invoked a clause that absolved the army because the incident had happened during a war-time situation, adding that the activist had ignored warnings to leave the area.
Corrie came from Olympia, Washington, and was a volunteer with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement. She had been wearing a bright orange vest at the time of the incident.
The Corrie family's lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, said the court verdict contradicted "the fundamental principles of international law with regard to protection of human rights defenders".
Corrie's death made her a symbol of the uprising, and while her family battled through the courts to establish who was responsible for her killing, her story was dramatised on stage in a dozen countries and told in the book "Let Me Stand Alone".
"I reject the suit," the judge said in a ruling read out to a packed courtroom. "There is no justification to demand the state pay any damages," he said, dismissing a family request. Witnesses said Corrie was hit by a bulldozer which was razing Palestinian homes.
He said soldiers had done their utmost to keep people away from the site on the day of the protest in March 2003. "She (Corrie) did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done."
After the verdict was read, Corrie's mother, Cindy, told reporters: "I am hurt."
Abu Hussein said Corrie had been taking part in a non-violent protest and accused the court of providing impunity to the army.
"We knew from the beginning that we had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice, but we are convinced that this verdict distorts the strong evidence presented in court," Abu Hussein said.
Senior U.S. officials criticised the original military investigation into the case, saying it had been neither thorough nor credible. But the judge said the inquiry had been appropriate and pinned no blame on the army.
Saudi Public Investment Fund has agreed to invest record amount of money into Russia
Four journalists in Egypt have been arrested in the last week and are facing charges belonging to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports Syrian Kurds retake northern villages from ISIL
176 fighters and civilians died in Yemen on Monday, which became the highest daily toll so far
Israeli PM spokesman says internal security service SHABAK detained six Bedouin citizens from Negev accused of supporting ISIL
Iranians want the ballistic missile sanctions lifted, but Western powers are not willing to meet Iran's demands
President Barack Obama promised to give more assistance to Syrian opposition to fight ISIL
Kuwait has detained 26 people who are linked to the attack on a mosque last month
Egypt has drafted an antiterrorism bill that threatens at least two years in prison for those who contradict official figures when reporting on militant attacks.
The Egyptian army has launched operations in Northern Sinai, killing 63 opposition forces.
Saudi-led strikes hit party headquarters of Houthi ally former president Ali Abdullah Saleh
Foreign minister insists recent violence in restive peninsula is 'nothing more than criminal, terrorist acts'
The Lebanese group Hezbollah's television station al Manar said its members and the Syrian army entered Zabadani where oppositions have held it since 2012.
Egyptian dictatorship detains 63 Muslim Brotherhood members. Latest arrests come only days after security forces gun down nine Brotherhood members in West Cairo apartment
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons