Sixteen years ago, 23-year-old
American peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer
that was preparing to demolish a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip. Corrie has since become an icon of global solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Born on 10 April 1979 in Olympia,
Washington, Corrie dedicated her life to defending Palestinian rights.
In 2003, she went to the Gaza Strip as a member of the International
Solidarity Movement. On 16 March 2003 in the Gaza Strip’s
southern city of Rafah, Corrie stood before an Israeli bulldozer in
hopes of stopping it from demolishing the home of a local Palestinian
family. She was
crushed to death when the bulldozer driver ran her over repeatedly,
according to witnesses.
In a letter sent to her family from Gaza
shortly before her murder, Corrie described the Palestinian suffering
she witnessed. “No amount of reading, attendance at
conferences, documentary viewing and word-of-mouth could have prepared
me for the reality of the situation here,” she wrote. “You just can’t
imagine it unless you see it.”