Eight out of 13 families of Arab Israeli citizens killed by police during the October 2000 riots reject a government initiative to pay them financial compensation.
said Monday that they are uninterested in reaching a compromise with the State: "We reject any deal for financial compensation presented by the State, because we are still convinced that the State is the main defendant in the killing of our children and we will continue in our efforts until we bring the accused to a fair trial for their crimes."
Last Thursday the State said it will pay the victims' financial compensation, in a deal sealed at the Nazareth Magistrates' Court. Eleven out of the 13 families signed the agreement.
The deal split the families between those wanting to see an end to their legal struggle against the State and the police by accepting the compensation and those wanting to push ahead with the legal case.
Hassan Aasla, father of Asil who was killed in the riots, objected the deal from the beginning. Former prime minister Ehud Barak sent State representatives to offer financial compensation to the families soon after it was decided that a State commission of inquiry would investigate the deaths' circumstances.
The families rejected the State's offer then.
In one of the meetings on the issue a great argument broke out, and the meeting ended with a decision not to file a legal claim for compensation. Some of the families, however, approached a legal firm and formed a lawsuit, which was eventually filed on September 2005 in light of the disagreements.
"There were even families in which the father objected and said that his son's blood was being sold for money, while the mother said that the situation was difficult and they have to continue living. It is a very sensitive issue which caused arguments both inside the families and between the families," said one of the people who accompanied the families.
Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, recently harshly criticized the State and the Police Investigation Unit's conduct during the riots in a new report.