On Friday Israeli-Arabs are set to mark a decade since the October riots of 2000, in which 13 of the sector's members were killed, and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee has declared a general strike.
"The frustration is growing. Someone in the government must wake up before it is too late," the committee's chairman, Muhammad Zeidan, told Ynet.
Rally marking 10-year anniversary of riots (Photo: Ofer Amram)
He says that despite the decade that has passed since the deadly riots erupted, the general feeling in the Arab sector is that nothing has changed.
"The situation today is more difficult in many respects. Politically, we understand that Israel doesn't want peace. Al-Aqsa mosque, which was the reason for the eruption of the riots, is in even greater danger today than ever before, homes are being destroyed in the Negev, where entire villages are being erased, the attitude towards our leaders and the ease with which indictments are filed against them, and the gaps that are widening, and with them the frustration that is growing – all of these reasons make the situation much more difficult than what we knew in 2000," said Zeidan.
The committee plans to hand a document to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein in the coming days in which it will demand the overturning of a decision by his predecessor, Menachem Mazuz, who ordered the cases on the 13 victims closed for lack of evidence.
"It cannot be that 13 of our boys were killed and the ones responsible are walking free without paying the price, against the explicit recommendations of the Or committee, which determined that the police must be investigated on suspicion of manslaughter," Zeidan said, adding that if the cases were not reopened his committee would appeal to the UN Human Rights Council.
On Friday Israeli-Arabs plan to honor the victims by holding marches to their gravesites, after which a rally is expected to attract thousands.
The police's northern district is preparing to deploy reinforcements for the events, and officers will be stationed outside villages to prevent conflict.
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