On this day six years ago, Rachel Corrie was killed by Israeli soldiers in Rafah, Gaza. By now the story is well known: Rachel, standing in front of the home of a doctor and his family in hopes of preventing a demolition, was run over by an armored bulldozer, a Caterpillar D9. After six years of promises from elected leaders, no independent investigation of her death has been conducted.
In the years since her death, Rachel’s memory has inspired countless people to take action in their own communities on behalf of the Palestinian cause. Songs have been written, plays performed, and books published about Rachel and her legacy. Her family has traveled the world talking about Rachel and about Palestinians’ rights, a cause to which she was so passionately committed.
The Corrie family returned to Gaza for this anniversary and to see the devastation created by the recent Israeli attacks. They found open arms and welcoming hearts. Rachel has become a part of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, part of it’s history of painful losses.
The anniversary, this year as in those past, is marred by fresh violence. Just days ago, an ISM volunteer was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers after a nonviolent demonstration in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. Tristan Anderson lays in the intensive care unit of a hospital with an unknown future. His brutal injury has received worldwide attention, as did Rachel’s death. What does not receive the same attention are the Palestinians who are injured or killed on a daily basis. Today, on the sixth anniversary of Rachel’s death, Ayaat al-Ja’bari, age 24, was injured as she made her way home in Hebron. Since July 2008, four unarmed demonstrators aged 10 to 22, were killed by Israeli forces in Ni’lin. Just over a month ago, the Israeli military killed over 1300 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians, many of them women and children.
On this year’s anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s killing, the International Solidarity Movement wishes to express our humble gratitude to the thousands of people who have volunteered with us over the last eight years, and to those who have supported our work emotionally and financially; devoting their time and energy to Palestinian non-violent resistance.
As we all continue to work for an end to the occupation, please join us in wishing Tristan a full recovery, and for Palestine, freedom at long last.
Resources about Rachel
- Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
- Rachel’s Words
- Let Me Stand Alone (book website)
- Statement from the family of Rachel Corrie on the 6th anniversary of her death
- ISM statement on the killing of Rachel Corrie
- The closest eye witness account on the murder of Rachel Corrie
- Rachel’s Emails
- Haaretz: American peace activist killed by army bulldozer in Rafah
- CNN: Israeli bulldozer kills American protester
- Hundreds Salute International Solidarity Movement, Rachel Corrie’s Parents
- Haaretz: ‘It’s a terrible thing, living with the knowledge that you crushed our daughter’
- Remembering Rachel Corrie
- Rachel was bulldozed to death, but her words are a spur to action