Rachel Corrie's Parents, Just Back From Israel, Say Trial Proves "Obstruction of Justice"

Did Israeli Major General Doron Almog halt the investigation of Rachel Corrie's death?
Just back from Israel and the first half of a trial where they are seeking to hold the Israeli Defense Forces responsible for their daughter's death, Cindy and Craig Corrie say they now have proof of "obstruction of justice."

At the trial, a former military investigator--identified in court only by his first named, "Elad," because of security concerns-- testified that his investigation into the death of Palestinian rights activist and Olympia native Rachel Corrie was cut short on the order of his superiors.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz obtained army documents submitted as evidence, which describe how an army major walked into the interrogation room just as Elad was questioning the commander of the bulldozer that fatally crushed Corrie seven years ago.

The documents say that the major "told the witness he must not say anything or write anything, by a director order from GOC Southern Command." The official giving the command was Major General Doron Almog, according to Haaretz. Almog is a controversial figure internationally and was once the subject of a British warrant, later withdrawn, due to allegations that he committed war crimes by ordering the demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza. Corrie died while attempting to stop just such a demolition.

"The U.S. government was promised a fair and through investigation by [former Israeli] Prime Minister Ariel Sharon," Cindy Corrie told the Weekly today, speaking by phone from Olympia. Elad's testimony shows that did not happen, she maintains. His testimony came as a surprise, since unlike at American trials, witnesses in Israel are not deposed in advance.

While the investigator's testimony raises suspicion, it does not shed any more light on whether Rachel was, in fact, killed intentionally or through negligence, as the Corries have charged. That may, or may not, come in the second half of the trial, when the government calls its witnesses. The Corries say they are hoping that one witness will be the driver of the bulldozer that killed Rachel.

The trial is expected to resume in September.

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