The Parents of Martyrs Procession took of on Thursday morning, from Jit village, in the north of Israel, and headed towards Baqa Al Gharbiyya.

The procession started after a gathering at the tomb of Rami Gharra, were the participants and Arab and Islamic leaders in Israel launched there three-day marching procession.

Member of Knesset Azmi Bishara said that the marchers intend to march to the hometowns of the 13 Arabs residents who were killed in October 2000.

Hundreds of Arab residents were injured in the clashes which followed the killing of the 13 residents.

The Israeli online daily Ynetnews reported that the Heads of the Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee decided to end their two-day hunger strike on Thursday, after Police Investigation Unit, Herzl Shviro, announced that he and the Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided to review the conclusions of the investigation.

Also, Bishara added that the decision of Shviro to have the prosecution reexamine the findings of the “Or” committee is only a maneuver to reduce the tension in the Arabic sector in Israel. 

“The investigation unit should collect the testimonies of the witnesses and the parents of the martyrs”, Bishara said, “If they want to spare time and efforts, they should start conducting proper investigations”.

Bishara added that the investigation unit is misleading the public by pretending that it is making progress, “but in fact there is no progress, even if they file charges now, the charges would only be against two officers”.

The two officers who were mentioned in the probe are Rashid Mirshid, an officer at the border guards units, and the previous head of Misgav police station Guy Raif.  


MK Mohammad Barakeh, from the Hadash-Ta’al party, said that the hunger strike was stopped after the committee achieved its first objective.

“We have to focus on the new battle now”, Barakeh said, “The first decision of the Police Investigation Unit would not have stood to the test in the Supreme Court”.

Also, Barakeh added that this decision does not mean ending the “battle”, and called on the Arab sector in Israel to “remain alert” in order to guarantee a fair probe in the case, in order to “avoid any other conspiracy”.  

MK Jamal Zahalka, National Democratic Assembly, said that the decision of the police investigation unit is only intended to absorb the police pressure, and that it was a move to delay the appeal to the Supreme Court.

Members of the bereaved families said that they hope that the Supreme Court would bring them justice.

Family members told Ynet Thursday they hope the Supreme Court would bring them justice, five years after the riots.

Ehssan Asla, the father of Asil who was killed in October 2000 clashes, said that those who called for closing the case should resign.

“All of them should resign, from the Justice Minister, to the last police investigator”, Ehsan said, “They are all involved in hiding the truth from the public, the Police Investigation Unit is not truthful, I no longer have faith in them”.

Also, Asla added that the Investigation Unit is trying to place obstacles in front of the bereaved families, in order to hinder their appeal to the Supreme Court.

Israel to reopen probe into October 2000 killings

Saed Bannnoura – IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli Justice Ministry official Herzl Shviro, who heads the investigations into the Oct. 2000 incidents which left twelve Arab residents of Israel, and one Palestinian dead, said that the prosecution decided to reopen the case, and reexamine the actions of Israeli officers involved in the incident.

Member of Knesset Binyamin Elon, from the National Union Party, blasted on the decision and claimed that the whole process is politically motivated.

Elon charged that the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak “bowed” to pressure by the Arab political sector in Israel.

“After an attorney general decided that the Police Investigation Department report was not biased, some people started hunger strike to protest the decision”, Elon said.

Elon charged that Barak bowed to pressure by the Arab political sector, and agreed to the probe.

Meanwhile, MK Yossi Beilin from the Metetz-Yahad party, responded to the claims of Elon by saying that political pressures are legitimate, and that the hunger strike carried by the Arab leaders is important.

Many Israeli political leaders, including justice ministry officials, expressed disbelief after the police published it probe results. 

The Israeli Police Investigation Department (PID) decided on September 18 to close the probe against the officers involved in the killings.

The investigation, which took place after the incident, is questioned; it took the investigators one month two question only two of the officers involved in the shootings.

Also, none of the investigators gathered evidence at the scene during the clashes, or even attempted to collect evidence a short time after the incidents took place, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported. 

PID officials allowed the burials of the victims without performing autopsies which could have aided the investigation.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee Abed Anabtawi, said that the committee is aware that the state prosecutor decided to seriously reconsider the results of the investigation.

Arab MK Isam Makhoul said that the Arab sector is under the impression that Israel is “expelling the Arab population out of democracy, and telling them that the right to life is not absolute”.  

“There is a connection between the Intifada in the occupied territories, and October 2000 incidents”, Makhoul said, “It goes way beyond being a Palestinian Intifada, it is an Intifada of the Israeli right wing against the whole peace process”. 

“Israel created an atmosphere considering the Arab sector in Israel as the enemy”, he said, “This allowed police officers to shoot and kill us freely”.

The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Adalah, sent a letter on Thursday to the Legal Advisor of the Israeli government, and the head of the Police Investigation Department, saying that the findings prove that the justice system in Israel failed in achieving justice and implementing the law.