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Probing. Hatib
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Arab Monitoring Committee demands world probe October 2000 riots
Committee announces that if Attorney General Mazuz decides to close case without indicting Israeli policemen involved in death of 13 Arab-Israelis it would seek international investigations, recourse. Committee discusses 'Israeli crimes in Gaza,' plans series of protest rallies

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee demanded Thursday that the October 2000 riots, which left 13 Israeli Arabs dead, be investigated by the international community.

 

The committee's statement followed publications suggesting Attorney General Menachem Mazuz intends to announce the case closed next week, recommending none of the police officers involved in the riots stand trial.

 

Mazuz announced Thursday that he would submit his final decision on the appeal filed by the victims' families, contesting the decision not to file criminal charges against the policemen involved in the killings, this coming Sunday.

 

"It appears the riots file will be closed without indictments against the murderers, so we have little choice but to ask for international intervention," Shawki Hatib, chairman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, told Ynet.

 

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee convened Thursday to discuss what it called "Israel's war crimes in the Gaza Strip," but the discussion soon turned to the attorney general's announcement.

 

"Choosing to present a decision just four days before the Winograd Commission (probing the Second Lebanon War) publishes its final report couldn’t possibly be coincidental," said Hatib. "We will continue to fight this crime in the international arena.

 

"In any case, the committee will decide on its actions after Mazuz has his say," he added.

 

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) suggested the committee send a delegation of Israeli Arabs to the UN and lodge an official complaint against Israel for killing 13 of the sector's citizens.

 

Both Zahalka and MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) support the notion of an international investigation: "It seems this case will not be getting an Israeli platform, and should Mazuz close the case in would only go to prove the Israeli judicial system's bias when dealing with Jewish criminals and Arab victims," said Tibi.

 

Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh added that "nowadays we have scientific proof that Israelis and Arabs get penalized differently for the same offenses."

 

Hatib called on all factions within the committee to join a left-wing demonstration scheduled to take place on Saturday, at the Erez Crossing, in protest of the ongoing Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

 

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee plans to hold rallies protesting the Gaza closure every day next week, in different Arab communities.

 

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