Sunday, October 31, 2010

Caterpillar suspends shipment of D9 bulldozers to Israel

According to Sydney Levy of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) the Israeli press is reporting that Caterpillar is withholding the delivery of tens of D9 bulldozers—valued at $50 million—to the Israeli military. The D9's are weaponized bulldozers that are used to destroy homes and orchards of Palestinian families. They are the same bulldozers as the one that killed Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist, seven years ago when she tried to protect the home of the Nasrallah family in Gaza.
That's why the next part of the story is even more amazing. The news reports say that the deliveries have been suspended  because Rachel's parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, are bringing a civil suit against the government of Israel in a court in Tel Aviv. (for more reports on the trial click here). The deliveries are to stop during the length of the trial. JVP takes this as an indirect admission by the company that these bulldozers are being used to violate human rights and to violate the law. The Corrie story is just one of the stories.

A suspension of the sale of bulldozers is what JVP has been asking Caterpillar for over seven years now. Caterpillar and the U.S. government, however,  have neither confirmed nor denied the news. And news reports describe the company's move as a temporary decision only. 
According to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), since 1967 almost 25.000 houses have been demolished in the occupied territories, of which at least 11.795 houses in the last ten years. In most of these cases, if not all of them, D9 bulldozers have been used.. 

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