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Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. She was killed when she tried to obstruct a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer o perated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF.)

Silhouette sitting on a hill, beside a bullhorn

The circumstances of Corrie’s death are disputed. Corrie was interfering with an IDF bulldozer operating in a Palestinian area of Rafah, close to the border with Egypt – an area the IDF had designated a security zone for operations designed to uncover the network of smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt to the Palestinian side of Rafah, used for smuggling weapons from Egypt to the Gaza strip.

The ISM says that the driver of the bulldozer deliberately ran her over twice while she was trying to prevent the demolition of the home of Samir Nasrallah, a local pharmacist. The official Israeli Government Report and the IDF deny that, and state that she was killed by falling debris pushed over by a bulldozer whose driver did not see her, and that the bulldozer was clearing brush and not engaged in a demolition when Corrie impeded on its path.

Corrie’s death sparked controversy and led to international media coverage, in part because she was an American, and in part because of the highly politicized nature of the conflict itself.

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