Friday, 13 February 2015

Israeli high court rejects appeal by family of murdered activist Rachel Corrie

Israel’s high court has rejected an appeal made by the family of Rachel Corrie, the young American activist crushed to death by the Israeli military while she was protesting against a home demolition in the Gaza Strip.

The Corrie family brought a civil suit against the Israeli army in 2005 after a military prosecutor closed the case with no charges. Rachel’s parents, Cindy and Craig, have been seeking to hold Israel liable for her death. The Corries have alleged that Israel’s defense ministry had either killed her deliberately or was guilty of negligence.

Rachel, who was 23 when she was killed in March 2003, had traveled to Gaza from her home in Olympia, Washington to work with the International Solidarity Movement. She had been in Gaza for two months before she she was run over by a soldier driving a bulldozer. She was killed in Rafah, near Gaza’s border with Egypt.

In August 2012, a lower court in Haifa had ruled in favor of the military; the State of Israel had argued that it was not responsible for damages in “closed military zones.”

In 2010, an Israeli military leader told the Haifa court that “During war there are no civilians.” As part of a policy that is still in effect, the Israeli military and police do not investigate complaints of attacks against civilians in “closed military zones.” more

Israeli forces open fire at Palestinians in southern Gaza

Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian homes and farmers in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday, locals told Ma'an.

Israeli soldiers deployed east of Khan Younis reportedly fired at Palestinian homes and farmers in the area, causing material damage.

Witnesses said the soldiers were trying to force farmers to stop working on their land in the area.

No injuries were reported.

Israeli forces frequently shoot at farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach large swathes of land near the border that the Israeli military has deemed off-limits to Palestinians. more

Israel releases Palestinian schoolgirl, 14, from jail

Israeli authorities on Friday released 14-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl Malak al-Khatib after a two month prison sentence.

Al-Khatib, from the town of Beitin near Ramallah, was arrested last December and sentenced to two months in jail on the charge of stone-throwing and possession of a knife.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said al-Khatib was also fined 6,000 shekels ($1,500).

Israeli forces arrest about 1,000 children every year in the occupied West Bank, often on charges of stone-throwing, according to rights group Defense for Children International Palestine.

But the case of Malak has brought countless media organizations flocking to her family's door and attracted more public attention than most.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Club estimates that 200 Palestinian minors are held in Israeli prisons, but only four are girls, and Malak was the youngest. more