U.S. Caterpillar delays exports to Israel

Nov. 1, 2010 at 2:10 PM
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BEIT EL, West Bank, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. company Caterpillar Inc. has suspended deliveries of its products to Israel pending the outcome of a civil trial in Israel.

The action was taken in response to a civil trial, Israel National Radio reported Monday.

Caterpillar Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. Caterpillar supplies the Israeli military with bulldozers, a number of which have been used to demolish property in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza.

On March 16, 2003, an Israeli military Caterpillar D9 bulldozer crushed to death 23-year-old American activist Rachel Corrie, a member of the International Solidarity Movement. She attempted to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian's house in the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza by kneeling in front of it.

The Israeli military subsequently stated that Corrie's death was due to the bulldozer driver's restricted field of vision. ISM witnesses said "there was nothing to obscure the driver's view."

Corrie's parents filed a civil case against the state of Israel earlier this year over their daughter's death. The trial continues.

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