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March 19, 2003

Oz + Avi -- American woman peace activist killed by IDF

Photo story: Israeli bulldozer driver murders American peace activist

American woman peace activist killed by IDF
bulldozer in Gaza
By Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondent, and Agencies

An American woman peace protester was killed Sunday by an IDF bulldozer, which ran her over during the demolition of a house at the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.

Another activist was wounded in the incident.

Rachel Corey, 23, from Olympia, Washington, was killed when she ran in front of the bulldozer to try to prevent it from destroying a house, doctors in Gaza said.

"Corey was killed in the al-Salam neighbourhood when an
Israeli bulldozer covered her with sand as she stood in front of a bulldozer," said Dr Ali Musa, a doctor from the al-Najar hospital in the southern Gaza Strip.

He said she died from skull and chest fractures.

The IDF said it was checking the report.

Greg Schnabel, 28, from Chicago, said the protesters were in the house of Dr. Samir Masri.

"Rachel was alone in front of the house as we were trying to get them to stop," he said. "She waved for bulldozer to stop and waved. She fell down and the bulldozer kept going. We yelled 'stop, stop,' and the bulldozer didn't stop at all. It had completely run over her and then it reversed and ran back over her."

Since the start of the Intifada, groups of international protesters have gathered in several locations in territories, setting themselves up as "human shields" to try to stop IDF operations.

Corey was the first member of the groups, called "International Solidarity Movement," to be killed in the conflict. Schnabel said Corey was a student at Evergreen College and was to graduate this year.

He said there were eight protesters at the site, four from the United States and four from Great Britain. "We stay with families whose house is to be demolished," he told the Associated Press by telephone from Rafah after the incident.
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