Mazuz to rule on renewed probe of Oct. 2000 riots

Follows petition by Adalah against Police Investigating Department's decision to close files of 13 Arabs killed in the October 2000 riots without indicting a single policeman.

Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz is expected to publish his decision on Sunday regarding an appeal by Adalah, the Israeli Arab human rights organization, against the decision of the Police Investigating Department (PID) to close the files of 13 Arabs killed in the October 2000 riots without indicting a single policeman, Adalah said Thursday. "We don't have great expectations from someone who, even after seven years, has not filed an indictment against even a single policemen responsible for killing one of the victims," attorney Hassan Jabarin, Adalah's director-general, told The Jerusalem Post. The PID began investigating the killings during and after the riots. However, after the government decided to establish a state commission of inquiry, the PID stopped its work. In its final report, the Or Commission recommended that the PID resume its probe. But on September 18, 2005, PID head Herzl Shbiro announced he was closing all the files. The decision caused outrage in the Israeli Arab community. In October 2006, Adalah published a 133-page report called, "The Accused," addressing the "failures of the law enforcement authorities, starting with the PID." Next, Mazuz announced he had decided to treat the Adalah report as an appeal against the PID decision and had ordered a reexamination of the files. On Sunday, he is expected to announce the results of the re-examination. Jabarin was skeptical that Mazuz would deviate from the conclusions of the PID. He pointed out that at the time the PID report was published, the attorney-general had defended its conclusions. He also said that the reexamination had been headed by then-state attorney Eran Shendar, who had been the head of the PID at the start of the investigation. Jabarin also charged that it was no coincidence that Mazuz was publishing his findings four days before the Winograd Committee was due to publish its final report. "He wants to divert public attention from his decision," charged Jabarin.