The Israeli Arab human rights organization Adalah on Friday petitioned the High Court of Justice against the decision of the internal security minister to appoint Dep.-Cmdr. Benzy Sau as a senior adviser.
Last week, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter announced that he was appointing Sau, currently the head of the Border Police headquarters staff, as head of his operational staff.
Adalah Attorney Marwan Dalal charged that "the appointment constituted a significant and substantial promotion in position and status" for Sau in violation of the recommendations of the Or Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
The Or Commission found serious flaws in Sau's behavior during the October 2000 riots in the Israeli Arab sector in which 12 Israelis and one Palestinian were shot and killed by police.
According to the commission's findings, Sau was involved in the use of live bullets by police snipers against civilians on October 2, 2000. In the demonstrations, which took place at the entrance to Umm el-Fahm, a Palestinian was shot and killed and many others were wounded.
It also found that Sau was among those responsible for police operations on the previous day, also in Umm el-Fahm, in which two Israeli Arabs were shot and killed.
The commission recommended that Sau should not be advanced in rank or position for four years from the date of publication of its report on September 1, 2003. Two weeks later, the government endorsed the Or Commission recommendations.
According to Dalal, "[Sau's] appointment and promotion is improper and lacking all legality. [Dichter's] decision regarding the appointment and promotion is fundamentally flawed and in contradiction to the rule applied by this court for many years. The appointment and promotion of Sau by Dichter will cause immediate and substantial damage to public confidence in the law enforcement agencies, including the policeâ€¦It should therefore be cancelled immediately."