Approximately 20.000 Arab residents of Israel protested on Friday against the decision of the Israeli Attorney-general to close the file of the 2000 uprising without seeking indictments against the soldiers who are responsible for killing 13 residents in October 2000.The protesters carried symbolic coffins with the pictures and names of the thirteen victims and chanted slogans seeking justice to the families.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that chairman of Hadash party, Mohammad Baraka, stated that the protesters took off to the streets to protest racism practiced by Attorney-general, Menahim Mazuz.
Last Sunday, Mazuz decided that he would not indict any of the police officers involved in the fatal shootings.
Chairman of the Balad party, member of Knesset, Jamal Zahalka, slammed the decision and said that this indicates that “the fingers that wrote this decision, are the same ones that pulled the trigger and killed the 13 victims”, Haaretz said.
He added that the Arab residents tried to give the legal system a chance to achieve justice and try the killers, and added that this system instead continues to treat the Arab residents as the enemy of the state.
Also, Shawqi Khateeb, chairman of the Higher Arab Follow-up Committee, said that this protest is part of a series of measures, and that the residents will appeal for international legal aid until achieving justice.
He also said that this decision is granting legitimacy to killing Arabs, and added that “if there is any reasonable Jew in Israel, he should condemn this ruling”, Haaretz reported.
The father of one of the slain residents, Ahmad Ibrahim Siyam, told the Arabs48 news website that the families will continue to seek justice until the killers are prosecuted for their crimes.
On Friday, all Arab towns went on strike in protest to the court decision.
Meanwhile, the Follow-up Committee said that it intends to file appeals to international tribunals against the court’s decision as the residents, according to the Committee, lost faith in the Israeli Justice system.
The Committee also stated that it will demand an investigation by international investigators.