Rachel Corrie court hearings end

An Israeli court heard its final witness July 10 in a trial surrounding the death of U.S. activist Rachel Corrie, who died when standing in front of an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003.

Israel’s commanding officer in Gaza at the time, Col. Pinhas Zuaretz, was one of the final witnesses.

Corrie, a pro-Palestinian activist from Olympia, Wash., who was 23 at the time, was killed when she stood before the bulldozer on the Gaza-Egypt border. She and other activists believed the military was about to demolish nearby Palestinian homes.

The military cleared the soldier who drove the bulldozer, saying he could not see the activist. That prompted Corrie’s parents to file a civil suit against Israel’s Defense Ministry in 2005, charging Israel with responsibility for killing their daughter.

The trial opened in 2010 and had 15 hearings and 23 witnesses. The verdict is scheduled to be announced April 23, 2012, said Rachel’s father, Craig Corrie. — ap