Killing of Rachel Corrie condemned around the world

By our reporter
19 March 2003

Rachel Corrie’s murder has provoked outrage and revulsion, as well as sorrow, in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, Israel, the United States and around the world.

Holding a stretcher draped with an American flag, some 1,000 Palestinians marched through the Rafah refugee camp as a sign of mourning. “We fly a US flag today to show our support to all American peace lovers—those like Rachel,” commented Palestinian farmer Hassan Abu Toa’ma.

In Gaza City, dozens of Palestinian and foreign activists held a vigil, holding banners saying: “Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a war criminal.” School children befriended by Corrie during her time in Rafah filed past her body at the local morgue. At UN headquarters in Gaza City, about 200 Palestinians and foreigners attended a memorial service. Four girls placed a picture of Corrie and flowers on an empty coffin, and mourners observed a moment of silence.

Pictures of Corrie were published on the front pages of Israeli newspapers. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, together with Israeli peace and human rights groups, extended condolences to her family, friends and colleagues, as did Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

In her hometown of Olympia, Washington, Corrie was honored as a martyr and hero by nearly 1,000 people who gathered to burn candles in a waterfront park. Friends and activists called for a full investigation into her death.

Tributes were given by professors and students from Evergreen State College, where Corrie was studying. They noted that she actively opposed US militarism and the so-called “war against terror” as well as social injustice, worked at a local mental health clinic and was active in the health workers’ trade union, 1199.

Condolences have flooded in from all over the world to Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie of Charlotte, North Carolina. They issued a statement expressing their grief and denouncing “the reports of the Israeli government accusing her of ‘acting irresponsibly, putting everyone in danger’ as she attempted to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli military.” Their statement continued: “Rachel spent her life working to understand and promote the voices of those who could least speak out on their own.”