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Bulldozer driver and ground commander to testify in Corrie trial

17 October 2010 | Rachel Corrie Foundation

The driver of the bulldozer that crushed to death Rachel Corrie in Rafah, Gaza, in March 2003, and the military commander in charge of the unit on the ground that day, are scheduled to testify on Thursday, October 21 in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel’s family against the state of Israel for her unlawful killing.

Earlier this month, the court granted the State of Israel’s request that soldiers involved in the incident be permitted to testify behind a screen to protect their identity. Lawyers for the Corrie family appealed the decision to the Israeli Supreme Court, requesting that at a minimum the family be allowed to view the soldiers, but the court refused to hear the challenge.

Consequently, the bulldozer driver will testify behind a screen. However, because the unit commander on the ground that day, Captain R.S., gave an interview that was broadcast on Israeli television in 2003, and was thus already known to the public, the presiding judge ruled that he will testify in plain view. Although disclosed during the TV broadcast, his name still remains redacted in official court records.

A third witness scheduled, known only as S.L., was driving the second bulldozer in the unit near Palestinian homes in Rafah. He will also testify from behind a screen.

The court was to hold hearings in the case on October 17-18, but postponed due to a death in Judge Gershon’s family. Therefore, additional court dates are anticipated to be added to the court calendar.

The October 21 hearing will take place between the hours of 9:00-16:00 before Judge Oded Gershon at the Haifa, District Court, 12 Palyam St., Haifa, Israel.

Please visit rachelcorriefoundation.org/trial for trial updates, changes to the court schedule and related information.