WASHINGTON (JTA) – Former President Jimmy Carter called “unacceptable” a court ruling that declared the State of Israel is not responsible for the death of American activist Rachel Corrie.
“The killing of an American peace activist is unacceptable. The court’s decision confirms a climate of impunity, which facilitates Israeli human rights violations against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Territory,” Carter said in a statement from the Atlanta-based Carter Center.
A district court in Haifa dismissed all charges Tuesday in a civil suit brought by the parents of Corrie, the American activist killed in Gaza in 2003 after being run over by an Israeli military bulldozer.
District Court Judge Oded Gershon ruled that Corrie, a pro-Palestinian activist with the International Solidarity Movement, entered the Gaza Strip despite knowing it was a war zone with live fire being exchanged daily.
Corrie, 23, was acting as a human shield for a house that was about to be demolished by the Israeli army when she became enveloped in the pile of dirt created by an armored bulldozer as it moved toward the house, according to her supporters. She died soon after in a nearby hospital. The Israeli military denies that a house demolition was taking place.
Carter also stated, “I hope that the U.S. government will use all reasonable means to ensure that the rights of American citizens are protected overseas and that justice is done for the Corrie family.”
The former president, who has garnered much criticism in recent years for his harsh words about Israel, will address the Democratic National Convention Sept. 4 via video on the second day of the convention in Charlotte, N.C.