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Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004

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Palestine Monitor

April 3, 2004

Israeli troops seek to erase memory of Rachel Corrie

EARLY this week four Israeli jeeps, 16 tanks and two bulldozers invaded the highly populated area in the Al-Salam neighborhood in the city of Rafah, along the Egyptian border of the Gaza Strip, an area constantly under continuous firing.

They headed straight towards Dr. Samir Nasrallah's home, the very house Rachel Corrie died in front of a year ago while trying to prevent its destruction. Corrie was the 23-year-old American peace activist from Olympia, USA, killed by an Israeli army bulldozer which ran over her while nonviolently trying to prevent the demolition of yet another Palestinian house in the city of Rafah. Corrie and other pro-Palestinian activists based in Rafah had frequently spent the night in Nasrallah's house, acting as human shields against the Israeli tanks and bulldozers clearing a security zone around the border.

For a while Nasrallah's abode had stood alone in a sea of sand and debris. Almost every other structure in the area has been knocked down in recent months.

Dr. Nasrallah, a Palestinian pharmacist, lived in the house with his wife and children. " When I returned to the site of my house I was in shock: they not only demolished the house, but all the rubble and dust were totally removed and gone." In this operation also some trees were uprooted and the surrounding landscape was totally razed.

Locals are convinced that this targeted demolition took place as one more attempt to erase the memory of crucial events that took place in the area and to cover the crime of the assassination of Rachel Corrie, since the place used to attract many journalists and members of various solidarity groups and activists, who would visit the place and gather with the family.

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