The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) strongly condemns Israelís killing of US peace activist Rachel Corrie in the southern part of the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
Rachel Corrie, a 23-year old US citizen from Olympia, Washington, was attempting to prevent an Israeli army bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home in Al-Salam neighbourhood in the southern Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli army bulldozer ran over Rachel Corrie and covered her with sand, thereby crushing her chest and skull.
Like many foreign peace activist in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip who have exhibited an unwavering commitment to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people over the past two years, Rachel had placed her own life in danger in a most powerful expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people and protest against Israelís illegal occupation and human rights violations.
Israelís demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continues to be one of the harshest Israeli occupation policies against the Palestinian people, and a grave human rights violation. Since June 1967, Israel has demolished more than 6000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and more than 2,500 in occupied east Jerusalem. It is estimated that, since the first Intifada of 1987, Israel has made more than 16,000 Palestinians completely homeless.
It is for such reasons that people like Rachel feel compelled to risk their lives in order to provide protection to the Palestinians.
The Israeli government must be held accountable for its killing of Rachel Corrie, and for the killing of all innocent civilians, Palestinians and non-Palestinians. The Israeli military institution must not be allowed to behave as an entity above the law, and must be held responsible for its illegal actions in the Palestinian territories.
MIFTAH urges the international community to clearly condemn Israelís killing of innocent lives, and calls upon the representatives of the international community in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories to take immediate action in collectively voicing their protest against Israelís brutal military measures in the Palestinian territories.