- The Washington Times - Monday, March 17, 2003

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip An American college student in Gaza to protest Israeli operations was killed yesterday when she was run over by a bulldozer while trying to block troops from demolishing a Palestinian home.
At least one Palestinian also was killed.
The killing of the student by the Israelis the first of a foreign activist in 29 months of fighting came as Israelis and Palestinians wrangled over the terms of a U.S.-backed plan to end the violence and establish a Palestinian state.
Rachel Corrie, 23, of Olympia, Wash., had been with U.S. and British demonstrators in the Rafah refugee camp trying to stop demolitions. She died in the hospital, said Dr. Ali Moussa, a hospital administrator.
"This is a regrettable accident," said Capt. Jacob Dallal, an army spokesman. "We are dealing with a group of protesters who were acting very irresponsibly, putting everyone in danger."
The United States "deeply regrets this tragic death of an American citizen," State Department spokesman Lou Fintor said.
He expressed condolences to Miss Corrie's family and said the United States wants an "immediate and full investigation" into her death.
"We again call on the Israeli defense forces to undertake all possible measures to avoid harm to civilians," Mr. Fintor's statement said.
More fighting was reported before daybreak today. About 30 Israeli tanks and armored vehicles entered the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, and one Palestinian was wounded in an exchange of fire, residents said. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
Peace activist Greg Schnabel, 28, of Chicago said four Americans and four Britons were trying to stop Israeli troops from destroying a building belonging to Dr. Samir Masri.
Israel for months has been tearing down houses of Palestinians it suspects in Islamic militant activity, saying such operations deter attacks on Israel such as suicide bombings.
"Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," Mr. Schnabel said. "She waved for the bulldozer to stop. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her."
She was wearing a brightly colored jacket when the bulldozer hit her.
Several Palestinians gathered at the site, and troops opened fire, killing one Palestinian, witnesses said. The army had no comment on that report.
Miss Corrie was the first member of the Palestinian-backed "International Solidarity Movement" to be killed in a conflict that has claimed more than 2,200 Palestinian lives about three times the toll on the Israeli side.
A student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Miss Corrie would have graduated this year, Mr. Schnabel said.
Her killing should be a message to President Bush, who is "providing Israel with tanks and bulldozers, and now they killed one of his own people," said Mansour Abed Allah, 29, a Palestinian human-rights worker who witnessed Miss Corrie's death.
Several other U.S. citizens have been killed in Palestinian-Israeli violence. On March 5, Abigail Litle, 14, was killed in an attack on a bus in Haifa. In July, five Americans died in a Jerusalem bombing.
Mr. Bush said Friday that a long-awaited "road map" for peace would be back on the table once Yasser Arafat appointed a prime minister with real power a process that appeared well under way last week despite concerns about the new premier's independence and authority.
The road map worked out by the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia foresees Palestinian statehood by 2005 and an end to Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank and Gaza.

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