- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by the family of pro-Palestinian American activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed over a decade ago in Gaza.

The family had challenged a lower court’s ruling in 2012 that exonerated the government of all wrongdoing.

Corrie, a 23-year-old from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death in March 2003 as she tried to block an Israeli military bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home in the southern Gaza town of Rafah near the Egyptian border.

The incident occurred at the height of a Palestinian uprising, a time of heavy fighting between the military and Palestinian militants, and the army frequently razed homes in the area that it said militants used for cover.

In its ruling, the Israeli court upheld the earlier ruling that said the state was not liable because the incident happened in a combat zone. The driver of the heavily armored bulldozer had testified that he did not see the young woman.

Corrie’s mother, Cindy Corrie, said the family was disappointed with the ruling and was weighing its options. “We have talked with some of our legal team a bit and we need to do that more and we’ll figure out where things stand,” she said.

Bill Van Esveld, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said Thursday’s ruling “dangerously disregards the laws of war,” which are meant to protect civilians from harm. He said it granted “blanket immunity to Israeli forces when engaged in ‘wartime activity’ without even assessing their conduct.”

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