Police: We have evidence Peki'in rioters opened fire

Officials claim they have audio & video tapes which prove residents fired first.

avi dichter 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
avi dichter 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The police said Thursday that they possess audio tapes and video footage which prove beyond doubt that a number of residents of Peki'in opened fire at security forces in the violent riots which took place there on Tuesday. According to a report on Army Radio, police officers can be heard on one of the tapes shouting "they're firing at us." Police have been heavily criticized for using live ammunition during the riots, but some police officers have asserted that Peki'in residents fired first. At least one Peki'in resident is still hospitalized in moderate condition with a gunshot wound to his stomach. The report states that Public Security Minister Avi Dichter received the tapes on Wednesday. Dichter told Army Radio there were "grave incidents" during the riots. "For example, some rioters on rooftops hurled cinder blocks on policemen's heads with an intent to kill them, no less," he said. Dichter has supported Police Chief Insp.-Gen. David Cohen's decision to set up an internal inquiry committee to investigate events in Peki'in. The committee is expected to submit its conclusions within two weeks. Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry's Police Investigative Department is looking into Peki'in residents' claims of police misconduct.