Israeli Soldiers Attack Gathering in Commemoration of American Killed By Israel (VIDEO)

On Wednesday, young Palestinians gathered in Nablus to honor the 12th anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death. Israeli Defense Forces tragically cut the beloved U.S. human rights activist’s life short when they crushed her beneath the treads of a bulldozer along the Gaza Strip in 2003. Corrie had taken part in a protest to keep Israel’s army from demolishing Palestinian families’ homes.

The International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) reports that the crowd was in the midst of planting trees, singing, and sharing a meal when Israeli soldiers suddenly attacked them in an attempt to disband the peaceful event.

Although one of the women gathered to mourn Corrie had the presence of mind to capture the assault on video, the camera is shaky and the footage is chaotic and confusing. Were it not for her repeated attempts to talk with the Israeli soldiers in English, it would be hardcore this English-speaking writer to get any idea of what’s going on at all.

One minute, Corrie’s mourners are picnicking, playing drums and singing. The next minute, the soldiers rush in and they start getting pushed around. The Israeli forces don’t even give the crowd any time to pack up and leave, they just start assaulting people.

Amidst the chaos and cacophony, the woman repeatedly cries, as the sound of objects hitting flesh fill the air:

“What are you doing? What are you DOING?”

The soldiers then converge on a man. We can’t see what they’re doing to him because the action takes place behind a tree branch full of leaves. The woman begs them to stop: 

“He has asthma! He has a problem! He has problem! He has problem! “

When we next see the victim, the man is  lying inert on the ground face up. Friends close in to help, but the Israeli soldiers try to keep them away. We then hear more punches and the loud, wet smack of a potentially lethal punch. One of Israel’s finest also may have knocked the woman down, because the camera suddenly zooms in on the ground and the wheel of a car.

“HEY!” cries the woman out to the soldiers. “You are crazy!” We then hear her wailing, “What have you done? What have you done?”

The soldiers begin carrying the man away on a stretcher. The Palestinians begin talking about whether to call an ambulance or drive the wheezing man to the hospital, and don’t seem to want the soldiers to take him.

Finally, the Israeli soldiers drop the man to the ground. Whether they’ve left him to die or have spared him from life in prison is unclear. They then try to take the woman’s camera, but apparently even people in Gaza have some measure of civil rights.

The woman protests “You can’t do this to me, you can’t,” and they leave her be. We do not know whether the man lives or dies.

Watch the horrific footage unfold as Rachel Corrie’s memorial goes awry.

For those unfamiliar with Rachel Corrie, it’s worth mentioning that she is legendary and much-loved among Palestinians.  In 2010, Haaretz reports the city of Ramallah even named a street after her. After that ceremony, Corrie’s bereaved parents went to Haifa in Israel to watch a biographical play about their daughter.

The play’s director Riad Masarwa told Haaretz:

“This is a personal story and a tragedy of a young girl who presented a challenge before each and every one of us. Particularly among the Palestinian people and the Arab world.”

The play prominently features Corrie’s famous speech, “I’m here because I care,” which she wrote and recited when she was only in fifth grade. Corrie’s speech was featured in the documentary Occupation 101.

Featured photo: Video screen grab/IMEMC News.