Protest marks 10th anniversary of Arab Israeli riots

MK Ahmed Tibi calls on Attorney General Weinstein to reopen case of 13 Arab Israelis killed during riots and charge policemen responsible.

October 1, 2010 20:28
2 minute read.
Demonstrators in Jaffa wave anti-Israeli signs and

jaffa day of rage rally 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

Thousands participated in a demonstration on Friday marking the tenth anniversary of the October 2000 Arab Israeli riots in which 13 Arab Israelis were killed by Israeli security forces.

The Kfar Kanna demonstration was attended by several Arab Israeli MKs, including Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List - Ta'al).

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Tibi addressed the crowd at the demonstration, condemning the fact that those responsible for the October 2000 deaths had not been made to stand trial for their actions.

MK Tibi added that the level of racism against Israel's Arab citizens had risen in the last ten years.

"I call on Attorney General [Yehuda] Weinstein to reopen the case and charge the policemen suspected in the killings.  Otherwise, the state is sending the message that it shoots its Arab citizens and that their lives are less valuable because they are Arabs. The ten years of rage and pain for the families and the Arab public constitute a black stain on the life of the State of Israel."

MK Taleb A-Sanaa (United Arab List-Ta'al) also spoke of the events of October 2000.

"The Arab public renews its commitment to the victims of October. It will not forgive or forget and will pursue the murderers and those who sent them until they pay a price."

MK Jamal Zahalka of Balad told Israel Radio that Israeli Arabs "will continue to fight for the truth."

"We demand full exposure" of the Israeli policemen who killed 13 Israeli Arabs in the riots, Zahalka explained. "It is very important. We are simply thinking about the safety of our children."

The father of one of those killed said he wants to know "Who shot my son? Who killed him? If Israel is a democracy, it needs to take responsibility, and so does the police commander that gave the instructions to shoot 13 Israeli citizens."

In addition to the demonstration, the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee declared a general strike on Friday. Many villages also held local parades and protests.

Police gathered near the demonstrations and outside the villages in order to prevent rioting, but they were mostly peaceful. There were some reports of youths throwing stones in the direction of the police officers, but no injuries were reported.

In the coming days, the Committee and the parents of those killed plans to ask Attorney-General to reverse the decision of previous attorney general Manny Mazuz, which declared that there is not enough evidence to investigate the police officers involved in the killing.

Israeli Arabs have held demonstrations and strikes during the month of October over the past ten years to express their anger over what they claim is an improper failure to investigate the incident.

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