Photo: Alex Kolomoiski
Barake: may turn to international court
Photo: Alex Kolomoiski
Photo: Gali Tivon
Bishara: Strikes, demonstrations could be the response
Photo: Gali Tivon

Arabs furious at police decision

Arabs, left-wing blast police decision not to indict any officers over deaths of 13 Arab civilians during October, 2000 riots in support of Aqsa Intifada. MK Cohen: 'racist decision'. MK Barake: 'premeditated murder against Israeli citizens'

Israeli Arab leaders and left-wing politicians slammed Sunday's decision by the Police Investigations Committee not to prosecute any police officers for the deaths of 13 Arab civilians during riots in support of the al-Aqsa Intifada in October, 2000.


MK Mohammed Barake (Hadash –Ta'al) said the decision meant the state was guilty for the deaths.


"The decision to clear the state representatives who committed these murders... places the responsibility for the killings on the state.


"The State of Israel murdered its citizens with it's own hands. If Arab citizens can't find justice in the Israeli justice system, they will find it elsewhere – in international courts," he said.


Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi said, "The killing of citizens is a crime, and when there is a crime there are criminals. The criminals have been cleared and the victims have been blamed. The Police Investigation Unit has turned out… to be a tool of abuse of families after the killing of their sons. The State of Israel has turned out to be a state for all its snipers."


Knesset Member Azmi Bishara (Balad), said: "Our son's blood is not free.  From the first moment onwards, it was clear that the Police Investigations Unit was sweeping the crime underneath the carpet instead of finding the guilty ones. For the life of ours sons in the future, we can't be silent in light of these findings. We will recommend a harsh response, including general strokes and demonstrations in all the Arab villages."


Knesset Member Ran Cohen (Yahad-Meretz) said, "it turns out that racism has also spread to the judicial system, otherwise the decision not to launch charges is incomprehensible. The responsibility for this falls on the Attorney General, who must place charges and apply the conclusions of the Or Commission."


Zahava Gal-On, a Knesset Member from the Meretz-Yahad party, said that "it was unfathomable that citizens are killed and no one there to lay down the law. This is contempt for human life and a slap in the check to the Or Commission recommendation. Gal-On said she filed a draft law who's aim is to punish all those who the Or Committee found responsible. "Only legislation like this would breathe life into the conclusions of the Committee," she said.


Interior Minister Ophir Pines also blasted the outcome of the investigation, saying, "It's unacceptable that a decision was made finding no one responsible for the death of 13 Israeli citizens. The conclusions of the Police Investigations Unit are disturbing. On the face of it, it seems that the investigation was unable to find witnesses and to investigate the truth."


But there are also figures in the political spectrum who are pleased with the result. Knesset Member Eliezer Sandberg, (Shinui), said following the investigation that |the Police Investigations Unit succeeded in ignoring political pressure and came to a decision which dealt with the issue at hand – this should be welcomed."


"I call on the leaders of the Arab public not to be dragged down the road of incitement. The investigation focused on shootings by the police, but the Arab public is the one that created the riots," he said


Ilan Marciano contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 09.18.05, 15:52
 new comment
This will delete your current comment