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Abu Hussein, Y.F. contradicted his own testimony, contradicted statements he had made to the military police in 2003, contradicted his signed affidavit and contradicted testimony given by other witnesses called by Israel. Notably, however, Y.F. confirmed on multiple occasions that Rachel’s body was between his bulldozer and a mound of dirt—and not hidden behind the mound of dirt. This testimony corroborates testimony about the location of Rachel’s body after she was killed given by four international witnesses in March, and it is also consistent with photographic evidence. Thorough? What struck me was how often Y.F. said “I wasn’t asked that� when asked by Abu Hussein why an important piece of the information he testified to was not in any of the former statements he gave or the affidavit he signed. Many questions—key questions, it seemed—were not asked of Y.F. by the military police investigators charged with conducting a “thorough� investigation. I appreciate having had the opportunity to witness the often chaotic rhythm of the proceedings and the way in which they unfolded: the detail pressed for in the cross-examinations and the answers given, the demeanor of the judge and manner in which he conducted the proceedings, the lawyering styles of the attorneys representing Israel. But my experience at the Haifa District Court was ultimately a very frustrating one. I left the courtroom convinced that the military investigation that led to the swift conclusion that Rachel’s death was an accident for which no one should be held accountable was anything but “thorough, credible and transparent.� I also left the courthouse deeply skeptical about the prospects for meaningful accountability anytime soon. And this is of great concern in light of the many civilian deaths in the occupied Palestinian territories and other violations of international law that have so far been met with impunity, rather than accountability. The Corrie case is scheduled to continue on Nov. 4. In the stop-start of a case that has lasted five and a half years, and has had testimony heard over the course of seven months (though only 11 actual court dates), the Corries will remain in Israel through at least the next court date currently scheduled after that—Nov. 15. The court will decide on Nov. 4 whether it will hear the final days of testimony in close succession, thereby minimizing the emotional and financial costs incurred by the Corrie family by the drawn-out schedule. � 12

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THE WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS

DECEMBER 2010

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  

Published to help provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.