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8 years after October riots - more discrimination

Association for Civil Rights issues report on anniversary of October 200 riots, asserts Israeli security forces still discriminate against Arab citizens

Eight years have lapsed since the October 2000 riots, in which 13 Israeli Arab protesters were killed by police forces trying to quell the riot. But despite the extensive public debate following the incident, Israeli security troops are still discriminately violent against Arab citizens, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said on Tuesday in a report entitled - 'October, a Good Time for Self-Scrutiny.'


According to the report, 34 Arab citizens have been killed by police since October 2000.


The most recent case the report cites occurred just three months ago, when a man from the southern Bedouin village of Rahat died after being beaten by police officers.


In most of the cases, indictments were filed against the officers involved.


Regardless of this the rights group maintains that the conduct displayed by the security forces proves that the findings of the Or Commission, which investigated the October riots and recommended the police work to eliminate bias against Israeli Arabs, have not yet been fully integrated.


The association also said Attorney General Menachem Mazuz's decision to drop the charges against the officers involved in the October 2000 riots deepened the schism between the police and the country's Arab citizens.


“We call upon the Israeli government to implement the Or Commission's findings and make October 1st a day of self-scrutiny for Israeli democracy,” said an official belonging to the group.


‘Government turns Arabs into criminals’ 

The group published additional data proving the discrimination against the Arab sector. The Shin Bet, they said, has been calling more and more Arab political and social activists in for interrogation.


The interrogees are required to answer questions to different issues concerning their political and social activities, even though they have not broken the law.


“Aside from the Shin Bet director's comments about his commitment to maintaining the Jewish character of the country, the investigations prompt a feeling reminiscent of dark regimes,” said an association source.


“The Shin Bet’s actions are a blow to freedom of thought, expression and the freedom of assembly.”


The report also breaches the demolition of illegal Bedouin homes in the Negev and the freezing of building projects in Arab towns.


“The lack of planning has leads to an absurd situation in which construction permits are unattainable. Thus, tens of thousands of houses are built without permits, due to natural growth requirements and those who build them become criminals against their will.”


פרסום ראשון: 10.07.08, 19:33
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