I Told You! Rachel Corrie’s Assassin
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On May 7, 2010, the Independent published an article named “General tried to cover up truth about death of Rachel Corrie.” It claims evidence has emerged which appears to implicate Israel's Gaza commander at the time in an attempt to obstruct the official investigation into her death. The alleged intervention of Major-General Doron Almog, then head of Israel's southern command, is documented in testimony taken by Israeli military police a day after Ms Corrie was killed on March 16, 2003. The hand written affidavit, was submitted as evidence during a civil law suit being pursued by the Corrie family against the State of Israel.
According to a military police investigator's report which has now emerged, the commander of the D-9 bulldozer was giving testimony when an army colonel dispatched by Major-General Almog interrupted proceedings and cut short his evidence. The military police investigator wrote: "At 18:12 reserve Colonel Baruch Kirhatu entered the room and informed the witness that he should not convey anything and should not write anything and this at the order of the general of southern command." The commander was a reservist named Edward Valermov. He was in the bulldozer with its driver. In his testimony before he was ordered to stop, he told military police investigators that he had not seen Ms Corrie before she was wounded. Alice Coy, a former ISM volunteer activist who was near Ms Corrie during the incident said in an affidavit to the court that "to the best of my knowledge the bulldozer driver could see Rachel while pushing earth over her body."
Mr Valermov said in his testimony that the bulldozers, manned by two people, were ordered to continue their work despite the presence of the ISM protesters. He said that troops in an armoured personnel carrier threw stun grenades, used tear gas and fired shots towards the ground to scare the protesters away. "It didn't help and therefore we decided to continue the work with all possible delicateness on the orders of the company commander" he said. The testimony was interrupted after Mr Valermov said the driver of the bulldozer, named only as Yevgeny, said he did not know if Ms Corrie had been harmed by the shovel of the D-9. "It was only when we moved the D-9 backwards that I saw her. The woman was lying in a place where the instrument had not reached. As soon as we saw the harmed woman we returned to the central corridor, stood and waited for orders." The soldier's last statement before the order to stop speaking was: "My job was to guide. The driver cannot guide himself because his field of vision is not large."
Another army document strongly suggests that Major-General Almog opposed the military police investigation. Dated 18 March 2003, a military police investigator petitioning a judge for permission to conduct an autopsy on Ms Corrie's body said that "we arrived only today because there was an argument between the general of southern command and the military advocate general about whether to open an investigation and under what circumstances." The judge granted the request provided the autopsy would be done in the presence of a US diplomat as the Corrie family requested. But the inquest was carried out by Israel's chief pathologist without any US official being there, in apparent violation of the judge's ruling.
Major-General Almog is a hero in Israel for his role in the 1976 raid to rescue hostages in Entebbe, Uganda. Some of his peers in the operation were Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. Major-General Almog denied halting Mr Valermov's testimony. "I never gave such an order, I don't know such a document. I conducted my own investigation, I don't remember what I found. There were 12,000 terrorist incidents when I was general in charge of southern command. I finished seven years ago, if they want to invite me [to testify] they know the address. I certainly didn't disrupt an investigation, this is nonsense. In all of my service I never told anyone not to testify." Asked if he gave an order to harm foreign activists interfering with the army's work, Major-General Almog responded: "What are you talking about? You don't know what a general in charge of command is. The general in charge of command has 100,000 soldiers. What are you talking about?” This is the moment to remind the readers that if a commander prevents a witness from testifying then according to the Israeli law it is disruption of an investigation, a criminal offence whose penalty is three years imprisonment.
This is also the moment to remind that this Israel hero acted cowardly in the UK. In 2005, the General narrowly escaped arrest in Britain on a war crimes charge for allegedly ordering the destruction in 2002 of 50 civilian homes in Rafah, where Ms Corrie was later killed. Major-General Almog was tipped off about the warrant and did not disembark at Heathrow, returning instead to Israel on the El Al flight. He knew he was guilty and unable to defend himself.
I learned about Rachel Corrie assassination after I left Israel. Shortly after, I was shot at by an Israeli sniper and became a recognized refugee, the attacks against me still continue; as of now my throat has been irreversibly damaged. Hate emails from outraged Israelis claim I’m a traitor. Yet, truth is slowly emerging: the Israeli society and its different organizations are traitors to the rest of the humanity and to God. I’ll continue denouncing them as said in Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
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