"I hope someday (the bulldozer operator) will have the courage to sit down in front of me and tell me what he saw and what he feels."
Before the verdict, Craig said:
"You don't really close a wound like this, but it certainly is a big milestone."
For days ahead of the ruling, he carried a photo of the then six-year old Palestinian girl whose home Rachel tried to protect. "I think this (picture) in some ways is more hopeful," he said. "She deserves a future that we all want for our children."
AP said their case was "the first civil lawsuit of a foreigner harmed by Israel's military to conclude in a full civilian trial." Others were settled out of court.
Rachel was an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer. It's a nonviolent, direct-action Palestinian movement against occupation and injustice.
Its members used their bodies as human shields to stop home demolitions. During the second Intifada (2000 - 2004), over 1,700 Rafah homes were bulldozed. Around 17,000 Palestinians were left homeless.
Many others throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem lost their homes. Doing so violates Fourth Geneva's Article 147. It prohibits targeting civilian property.
Rachel justifiably tried to prevent it. Fourth Geneva's Article 10 supports humanitarian workers. Occupying powers are obligated to protect them. Moreover, Article 54 prohibits targeting civilians.
Rachel was a committed anti-war activist before coming to Gaza in 2002. She arranged peace events in Washington state.
She died in Rafah in southern Gaza. She and other ISM protesters used their bodies to stop other home demolitions. Extremist members of Netanyahu's coalition government called judge Gershon's ruling "vindication after vilification."
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi denounced the decision, saying:
"Despite the testimonies of eyewitnesses, the audio-visual evidence and the overwhelming proof that Rachel was deliberately murdered, the Israeli court insists on victimizing her again in her tragic death."
"This proves that once again the occupation has distorted the legal and judicial systems in Israel and that the lack of accountability for its violence and violations has generated a culture of hate and impunity."
"We must make sure that Rachel Corrie's death is not a senseless incident. It must be stressed that Israel's habit of blaming the victim and exonerating the criminal is not applied to Palestinian victims, but has also it has extended its reach to international solidarity activists and victims of Israeli violence."