Mazuz to publish probe into killings in Oct. 2000 riots

Results of examination into decision to close inquiry into killing of 12 Israeli Arabs and a Palestinian to be announced.

2000 riots 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
2000 riots 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
After more than two years, the findings of the state attorney's examination of the Police Investigations Department (PID) decision to close the investigations into the killing of 12 Israeli Arabs and one Palestinian during the October 2000 riots will be published in the next few weeks, the state attorney's senior adviser said Thursday. The adviser, Ran Nizri, was replying to a letter from former Israel Bar chairman Shlomo Cohen, who accused Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz of planning to bury the examination. The Justice Ministry's PID stopped investigating the deaths shortly after the end of the riots, when the government appointed former Supreme Court justice Theodore Or to head a state commission of inquiry into the events and what led up to them. During the investigation, the commission identified policemen as suspects in several of the killings. In its final report, published on September 1, 2003, it called on the PID to resume its investigation of all the killings. Two years later, in September 2005, the PID announced that it was closing all the files without a single indictment, either because it could not find sufficient evidence to press charges in some of the cases or because it could not find suspects in others. The decision created such uproar that Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz decided to reexamine the PID's findings. The following year, on October 15, 2006, Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which had represented the families of the victims during the Or Commission hearings, published a report called "The Accused," in which it carried out its own investigation of the killings and reached its own conclusions. "On the basis of what is written and described in this report," attorney Hassan Jabarin, the head of Adalah, wrote to Mazuz, "we demand that you immediately order an investigation into the extreme failures of the PID since October 2000 and that you take immediate steps to suspend all those responsible for the failure, above all Eran Shendar, who was head of the PID in 2000. We also ask you to order indictments to be filed immediately against the police who were responsible for the killing and wounding of Arab citizens in October 2000, as explained in our report." Although Adalah did not submit its findings to Mazuz, the attorney-general informed the organization that it would include the report in its examination. Now, Mazuz has announced that he will release the results of the examination in the next few weeks.